Everyday Life in the Balkans
337 pages
English

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Everyday Life in the Balkans

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337 pages
English

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Description

Everyday Life in the Balkans gathers the work of leading scholars across disciplines to provide a broad overview of the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. This region has long been characterized as a place of instability and political turmoil, from World War I, through the Yugoslav Wars, and even today as debate continues over issues such as the influx of refugees or the expansion of the European Union. However, the work gathered here moves beyond the images of war and post-socialist stagnation which dominate Western media coverage of the region to instead focus on the lived experiences of the people in these countries. Contributors consider a wide range of issues including family dynamics, gay rights, war memory, religion, cinema, fashion, and politics. Using clear language and engaging examples, Everyday Life in the Balkans provides the background context necessary for an enlightened conversation about the policies, economics, and culture of the region.


Preface


Acknowledgements


1. Seeing Everyday Life in the Balkans / David W. Montgomery



Section I: The (Historical) Context of Everyday Life


2. Early Balkan Everyday Life / Andrew Wachtel


3. Crimes and Misdemeanors: Scenes of Everyday Life among the Gendarmerie in Ottoman Macedonia, ca. 1900 / Ipek K. Yosmaoğlu


4. It's What's Inside That Counts: Furnishing the Modern in the Apartments of Socialist Yugoslavia / Patrick Hyder Patterson


5. Consuming Lives: Inside the Balkan Kafene / Mary Neuburger


6. Burek, Da! Sociality, Context, and Idiom in Macedonia and Beyond / Keith Brown



Section II: The Home(s) of Everyday Life


7. Kinship and Safety Nets in Croatia and Kosovo / Carolin Leutloff-Grandits


8. "This Much We Know": Domestic Remedies and Quotidian Tricks since Tito's Bosnia / Larisa Jašarević


9. Femininity, Fashion, and Feminism: Women's Activists in Bosnia-Herzegovina / Elissa Helms


10. That Black Cloud upon Our Family: Everyday Life of Gays and Lesbians in Slovenia / Roman Kuhar


11. Between Past and Future: Young People's Strategies for Living a "Normal Life" in Post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina / Monika Palmberger


12. "But Where Else Could They Go?" The State, Family, and Private Care in a Bosnian Town / Azra Hromadžić



Section III: The Livelihoods of Everyday Life


13. Cars, Coffee, and "The Crisis": Balkan Migration in Precarious Times / Ana Croegaert


14. "We Don't Belong Anywhere": Everyday Life in a Serbian Town Where Immigrants Are Former Refugees / Mila Dragojević


15. Neoliberal Spaces of Immorality: The Creation of a Bulgarian Land Market and "Land-grabbing" Foreign Investors / Deema Kaneff


16. Making Ends Meet in a Rural Community: The Life and Times of Aleksandar Živojinović / Andrew Konitzer


17. A Lot of Sweat, a Little Bit of Fun, and Not Entirely "Hard Men": Worker's Masculinity in the Uljanik Shipyard / Andrea Matošević


18. Perceptions of Balkan Belonging in Post-dictatorship Greece / Daniel M. Knight



Section IV: The Politics of Everyday Life


19. Neither the Balkans nor Europe: The "Where" and "When" in Present-day Albania / Nataša Gregorič Bon


20. Growing Up in Montenegro: A Story of Transformation and Resistance / Jelena Džankić


21. War Criminals, National Heroes, and Transitional Justice in Macedonia / Vasiliki P. Neofotistos


22. A Lively Border / Čarna Brković and Stef Jansen


23. "Politicians Are All Crooks!" Everyday Politics in Bulgaria / Emilia Zankina


24. Life among Statues in Skopje / Ilká Thiessen



Section V: The Religion(s) of Everyday Life


25. "The Hardest Time was the Time without Morality": Religion, Transition, and Social Navigation in Albania / David W. Montgomery


26. Ramadan in Prizren / Frances Trix


27. The Cross at the Crossroads: The Feast of Slava between Faith and Custom / Milica Bakić-Hayden


28. Boundaries of Freedom, Boundaries of Responsibility: Everyday Religious Life of Croatian Catholic Women / Slavica Jakelić


29. Religious Boundaries, Komsholuk, and Sharing Sacred Spaces in Bulgaria / Magdalena Lubanska


30. The Everyday of Religion and Politics in the Balkans / Albert Doja



Section VI: The Art of Everyday Life


31. Unintentional Memorials: Everyday Places of Memory in Post-transition Bucharest / Alyssa Grossman


32. Between East and West, Folk and Pop, State and Market: Changing Landscapes of Bulgarian Folk Music / Carol Silverman


33. Mothers in Balkan Film / Yana Hashamova


34. Memories of Foreign Love / Ervin Hatibi


35. The Sound of Charcoal Rustling: Drawing from Life in Belgrade / Marko Živković


Postface / David W. Montgomery


Index

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 26 novembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780253038197
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Exrait


9. Femininity, Fashion, and Feminism: Women's Activists in Bosnia-Herzegovina / Elissa Helms


10. That Black Cloud upon Our Family: Everyday Life of Gays and Lesbians in Slovenia / Roman Kuhar


11. Between Past and Future: Young People's Strategies for Living a "Normal Life" in Post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina / Monika Palmberger


12. "But Where Else Could They Go?" The State, Family, and Private Care in a Bosnian Town / Azra Hromadžić



Section III: The Livelihoods of Everyday Life


13. Cars, Coffee, and "The Crisis": Balkan Migration in Precarious Times / Ana Croegaert


14. "We Don't Belong Anywhere": Everyday Life in a Serbian Town Where Immigrants Are Former Refugees / Mila Dragojević


15. Neoliberal Spaces of Immorality: The Creation of a Bulgarian Land Market and "Land-grabbing" Foreign Investors / Deema Kaneff


16. Making Ends Meet in a Rural Community: The Life and Times of Aleksandar Živojinović / Andrew Konitzer


17. A Lot of Sweat, a Little Bit of Fun, and Not Entirely "Hard Men": Worker's Masculinity in the Uljanik Shipyard / Andrea Matošević


18. Perceptions of Balkan Belonging in Post-dictatorship Greece / Daniel M. Knight



Section IV: The Politics of Everyday Life


19. Neither the Balkans nor Europe: The "Where" and "When" in Present-day Albania / Nataša Gregorič Bon


20. Growing Up in Montenegro: A Story of Transformation and Resistance / Jelena Džankić


21. War Criminals, National Heroes, and Transitional Justice in Macedonia / Vasiliki P. Neofotistos


22. A Lively Border / Čarna Brković and Stef Jansen


23. "Politicians Are All Crooks!" Everyday Politics in Bulgaria / Emilia Zankina


24. Life among Statues in Skopje / Ilká Thiessen



Section V: The Religion(s) of Everyday Life


25. "The Hardest Time was the Time without Morality": Religion, Transition, and Social Navigation in Albania / David W. Montgomery


26. Ramadan in Prizren / Frances Trix


27. The Cross at the Crossroads: The Feast of Slava between Faith and Custom / Milica Bakić-Hayden


28. Boundaries of Freedom, Boundaries of Responsibility: Everyday Religious Life of Croatian Catholic Women / Slavica Jakelić


29. Religious Boundaries, Komsholuk, and Sharing Sacred Spaces in Bulgaria / Magdalena Lubanska


30. The Everyday of Religion and Politics in the Balkans / Albert Doja



Section VI: The Art of Everyday Life


31. Unintentional Memorials: Everyday Places of Memory in Post-transition Bucharest / Alyssa Grossman


32. Between East and West, Folk and Pop, State and Market: Changing Landscapes of Bulgarian Folk Music / Carol Silverman


33. Mothers in Balkan Film / Yana Hashamova


34. Memories of Foreign Love / Ervin Hatibi


35. The Sound of Charcoal Rustling: Drawing from Life in Belgrade / Marko Živković


Postface / David W. Montgomery


Index

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Everyday Life in the Balkans
Map of the Balkans, by Theresa Quill.

This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
iupress.indiana.edu
2019 by Indiana University Press
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Montgomery, David W., 1968- editor.
Title: Everyday life in the Balkans / [Thirty-five authors] ; Edited by David W. Montgomery.
Description: Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, c2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index
Identifiers: LCCN 2018048030 (print) | LCCN 2018049206 (ebook) | ISBN 9780253038203 (web PDF) | ISBN 9780253026170 (hardback : alk. paper) | ISBN 9780253038173 (pbk. : alk. paper) | ISBN 9780253038197 (ebook epub)
Subjects: LCSH: Balkan Peninsula-Social life and customs.
Classification: LCC DR23 (ebook) | LCC DR23 .E94 2018 (print) | DDC 949.6-dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018048030
1 2 3 4 5 23 22 21 20 19 18
To our friends. . .
Kushtuar miqve tan . . .
. . .
Na imp prijateljima. . .
. . .
Prietenilor no tri. . .
. . .
Na im prijateljem. . .
. . .
Sevgili dostlar m za. . .
. . . and to Sarah.
Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Seeing Everyday Life in the Balkans
David W. Montgomery

Section I: The (Historical) Context of Everyday Life

2. Early Balkan Everyday Life
Andrew Wachtel

3. Crimes and Misdemeanors: Scenes of Everyday Life among the Gendarmerie in Ottoman Macedonia, ca. 1900
pek K. Yosmao lu

4. It s What s Inside That Counts: Furnishing the Modern in the Apartments of Socialist Yugoslavia
Patrick Hyder Patterson

5. Consuming Lives: Inside the Balkan Kafene
Mary Neuburger

6. Burek, Da! Sociality, Context, and Idiom in Macedonia and Beyond
Keith Brown

Section II: The Home(s) of Everyday Life

7. Kinship and Safety Nets in Croatia and Kosovo
Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

8. This Much We Know : Domestic Remedies and Quotidian Tricks since Tito s Bosnia
Larisa Ja arevi

9. Femininity, Fashion, and Feminism: Women s Activists in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Elissa Helms

10. That Black Cloud upon Our Family: Everyday Life of Gays and Lesbians in Slovenia
Roman Kuhar

11. Between Past and Future: Young People s Strategies for Living a Normal Life in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina
Monika Palmberger

12. But Where Else Could They Go? The State, Family, and Private Care in a Bosnian Town
Azra Hromad i

Section III: The Livelihoods of Everyday Life

13. Cars, Coffee, and The Crisis : Balkan Migration in Precarious Times
Ana Croegaert

14. We Don t Belong Anywhere : Everyday Life in a Serbian Town Where Immigrants Are Former Refugees
Mila Dragojevi

15. Neoliberal Spaces of Immorality: The Creation of a Bulgarian Land Market and Land-Grabbing Foreign Investors
Deema Kaneff

16. Making Ends Meet in a Rural Community: The Life and Times of Aleksandar ivojinovi
Andrew Konitzer

17. A Lot of Sweat, a Little Bit of Fun, and Not Entirely Hard Men : Worker s Masculinity in the Uljanik Shipyard
Andrea Mato evi

18. Perceptions of Balkan Belonging in Postdictatorship Greece
Daniel M. Knight

Section IV: The Politics of Everyday Life

19. Neither the Balkans nor Europe: The Where and When in Present-Day Albania
Nata a Gregori Bon

20. Growing Up in Montenegro: A Story of Transformation and Resistance
Jelena D anki

21. War Criminals, National Heroes, and Transitional Justice in Macedonia
Vasiliki P. Neofotistos

22. A Lively Border: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia on the Shifting Banks of the Drina
arna Brkovi and Stef Jansen

23. Politicians Are All Crooks! : Everyday Politics in Bulgaria
Emilia Zankina

24. Life among Statues in Skopje
Ilk Thiessen

Section V: The Religion(s) of Everyday Life

25. The Hardest Time Was the Time without Morality : Religion and Social Navigation in Albania
David W. Montgomery

26. Ramadan in Prizren, Kosovo
Frances Trix

27. The Cross at the Crossroads: The Feast of Slava between Faith and Custom
Milica Baki -Hayden

28. Boundaries of Freedom, Boundaries of Responsibility: Everyday Religious Life of Croatian Catholic Women
Slavica Jakeli

29. Religious Boundaries, Komshuluk , and Sharing Sacred Spaces in Bulgaria
Magdalena Lubanska

30. The Everyday of Religion and Politics in the Balkans
Albert Doja

Section VI: The Art of Everyday Life

31. Unintentional Memorials: Everyday Places of Memory in Post-Transition Bucharest
Alyssa Grossman

32. Between East and West, Folk and Pop, State and Market: Changing Landscapes of Bulgarian Folk Music
Carol Silverman

33. Mothers in Balkan Film
Yana Hashamova

34. Memories of Foreign Love
Ervin Hatibi

35. The Sound of Charcoal Rustling: Drawing from Life in Belgrade
Marko ivkovi

Postface
David W. Montgomery

Index
Preface
Somewhat prosaically, the title of this book- Everyday Life in the Balkans -gives the reader a sense of what it is about. But each reader no doubt brings his or her own understanding (and corresponding biases) as to why either everyday life or the Balkans matter. Thus, some explanation about the composition is required, for therein one can see how the various chapters constitute windows into a way of seeing the world that is sorely needed if we have any hope of understanding it.
This is a large book and the chapter topics are diverse. Each author was approached to write on a specific topic corresponding to her or his expertise, with country, discipline, and thematic diversity being central to the project. All contributions are original and were not intended to be a review of the literature so much as a critical engagement with some aspect of everyday life-broadly framed-from the perspective of those living it. The writing is intended to be felicitous to the lay public, yet the approach of bringing so many topics to bear on the character and depth to the picture of the Balkans should have relevance to regional specialists whose commitment to certain disciplinary approaches can obscure the interdisciplinary environment in which people live. This gets us to the importance of everyday life, for it is here that most of life is lived.
Most of our days are spent in familiar environments with which we seldom critically engage. The commonplace, after all, is known, and thus its subtle yet formative role in our becoming who we are is easily overlooked. This applies also to our understanding of-or at least our attempts to understand-others: in failing to appreciate the everyday of their lives, we risk missing the more indirect engagements that give culture character and behavior clarity. As such, an implicit argument of this volume is that more empathic and thoughtful engagement with others comes from an appreciation of their lifeworlds and those factors that help explain what is valued and why.
Seeing everyday life requires us to look to places and relationships that are not commonly associated in regional introductions. Having an appreciation for the context in which people live forces us to know a bit about the diverse groupings that constitute this book: an understanding of history and tradition, the political face of quotidian life and its home, the nature of work and religion, and the role the aesthetic plays in local belonging. Brief introductions to each section explicate how the chapters fit within a section, but it is always the case that in life little exists in isolation. History, home, politics, education, labor, religion, and so on, are categories that offer each other reciprocity in the everyday, so one should read the chapters not simply as self-contained but also as speaking across sections. The work we do can be political; religion can be art; home has history. Everyday life is dynamic and syncretic, and we must see this if we have any hope of understanding the Balkans or anywhere else.
Acknowledgments
While created in moments of solitary composition, all books are collective endeavors, with this volume even more collective than most. It would not have been possible without the chapter authors, who turned to their research with the intent of drawing out the everyday of the places where they have invested so much of their work and observation. In many ways, this was both a reflective and reflexive process made possible by the generosity of our various interlocutors, who shared with us their hopes and fears as they allowed us to be part of their daily lives. Thus it is collectively that we acknowledge, in the many languages in which we work, that this book is to our friends who have made this possible and made our time in the region meaningful.
Alongside the general acknowledgment of those about whom we write, there are some who were especially helpful to me over the course of this project, from recognizing the need to bring a discussion of everyday life to focus on the Balkans to bringing this final product together. My appreciation for the Balkans began with Bela Blasszauer, Darina Kokona, Sanja and Borislav Star evi , Sashka Popova, and Valentin Ha -to each, in various ways, I owe a great debt. Others who offered friendship and insight on the region include Jasmina and Andrew Konitzer, Suzanna and Robert Kokona, Ervin Hatibi, Mentor Mustafa, Rudina Verdha, Armela Bega, Armida Tola, Laura Shimili, Florian Ravoniku, Enton Derraj, Eno Muho, Elona Saro, Jorida Cila, Dorina Nikolla, Denalda Kuzumi, Irma Vuci, Shqipe Hajredini, Virgjil Kule, Shpresa Fuga, Artan Fuga, Rusmir Mahmut ehaji , Alma Mrgan-Slipicevic, Marija and Zivojin Budovalcev, Lowell Lander, Natasha Korn, Adam Seligman, Rahel Wasserfall, and Milena Katsarska. As well, special recognition and gratitude go to Roska Vrgova, who commented on many of the chapters and contributed significantly with the photos used in the volume. Also, thanks to Theresa Quill for creating the Balkan map used in this volume. There are many others I have failed to mention, but hopefully they will see their influence in what is written, and that their insights were noticed and appreciated.
Research was supported by grants from the American Councils for International Education, the University of Pittsburgh s Center for Russian and East European Studies, and the Global Studies Center, also at the University of Pittsburgh. As well, CEDAR (Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion), which held its first program in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro in 2003-and continues to have an ongoing presence in the Balkan Summer School on Religion and Public Life and other initiatives that have evolved from those programs-has been central to my engagement in the region.
In closing, I acknowledge the generosity and selflessness of my parents, Dee and Luke Montgomery, who supported me even when I know they wished I was closer to home; in every way, they made this work possible by instilling a deep appreciation for the joys of quotidian life. Thanks also to Jennifer, Nathan, Lauren, and Reed Tegtmeyer and Denise, Tim, and Deirdre Ligget. Lastly, I deeply thank my wife, Sarah; the love and support she has provided throughout the writing and editing of this work made it all more manageable-writing is a process that takes place while the everyday unfolds, and her presence, in great and at times unnoticed ways, enriches the world we navigate together. It is my hope that as parents we will successfully impart an appreciation for everyday life upon our son, Gabriel-born during the last stages of the book s production-and that he will grow to see this work as useful.
Everyday Life in the Balkans
1 Seeing Everyday Life in the Balkans

David W. Montgomery
We all encounter the world with incomplete knowledge, and this is no less the case when we approach the Balkans-a region characterized by orientalists as backward yet understood by residents as home. How we come to understand the Balkans is thus heavily dependent on the sources we prioritize and the narratives we privilege. To schoolchildren in the West, it is taught that both world wars began in the Balkans, there was repression under socialism, and the years after socialism were difficult, as the violence of war and the struggle to figure out life in a postsocialist world were fraught with uncertainty. The majority of what is taught and learned-through textbooks and modern media-focuses on the actions of both elites and nations as actors; but this is only part of the story. Indeed, it is only part of what one needs to know to understand anywhere. The more complete story-one that conveys the affective richness of life-comes in understanding the stories of the everyday, stories where the taken-for-granted aspects of the ordinary define what it means to belong to a certain locale, where well-being can be seen in neighborly relations despite the struggles of life, and where the quotidian nature of existence is recognized for what it is: part mundane and part tragic, yet also at times heroic.
Often, the full context of what connects people to their worlds is occluded when we focus on a region or a particular event. What defines any place must be understood in relation to what makes it home for those who reside there or otherwise remain connected to the area. The boundaries of these connections are, however, often fluid and ambiguous, requiring a nuanced, interactive relationship with others to contextualize meaning. This can be seen even in the very way a generalizing term like Balkans holds baggage and implies varying categories of identity. The importance of interrogating the implications of such a catchall term cannot be understated, 1 for implicit prejudices can be pernicious when outsiders see locals as less than equals. But in starting to see local ways of creating meaning and value in everyday life, we are afforded the opportunity to appreciate the range of struggles and joys that capture what it means to be in relationship with others, that make sense only in relation to the everyday negotiations that constitute life.

The Ambiguity of Balkan
To appreciate the complex nature of everyday life in the Balkans, I turn to the ambiguity of the regional moniker itself. Here I opt for an indirect way of doing so because it is more reflective of what takes place in social interactions than the conventions of scholarly writing that advocate for clarity and directness. Thus, as so many days begin in the region, I begin with coffee.
Coffee is an important part of everyday life in the Balkans. The first coffee of the day begins a morning at home. The second and third may be with friends or colleagues midmorning and midafternoon. Another may be had after dinner with friends. More may be had in between. Covered by the filigree of tradition, coffee is a conduit of social relations, an invitation that brings people together to share stories, anxieties, hopes, and all that grows out of people coming together. Meeting for coffee creates a space where the ambiguities of life can be worked out (or managed) and as such comes to represent a social characteristic of the region.
To the outsider, the invitation to coffee is not always straightforward. Meeting someone for coffee often means a drink of roasted, finely ground coffee beans that are boiled in a cezve ( ibrik ) and served in a small cup in which the grounds settle prior to drinking. Yet meeting for coffee can also mean lunch, dinner, or even a beer, anytime throughout the day. The invitation to meet for coffee has multiple meanings that are contextually understood without the need to distinguish the details of what the meeting will entail. Misunderstandings may still emerge, but generally people know the context without everything needing to be worked out beforehand.
Balkan is a similarly ambiguous term that has come to hold political, cultural, and geographical characteristics, all used contextually yet as if the uses were widely agreed on. As such, when the term is used, it takes context to know if it implies a geographical setting-either as the Balkan Peninsula or Southeast Europe-or a cultural setting, suggesting cultural similarities within the region that are distinguishable from those beyond the region. People from different places may be talking about two very different things-much like the meaning of coffee can be differently interpreted by the outsider unfamiliar with the nuances-and thus it becomes all the more important for people with roots outside the Balkans to appreciate the local context of the Balkans. To this end, the various uses of the term-and how the political, cultural, and geographical aspects of life within the region get animated in the everyday-are employed throughout this volume.
The main goal of these contributions is to convey what life is like for people who understand their home as being within the Balkans. The focus, thus, is not the elite newsmakers of the region, but rather those toiling closer to the land in which they live, whose lives are often seen as unexceptional. It is the everyday of these lives that best captures the dynamism of any place.
Nonetheless, cognates associated with the region, like balkanized and balkanization, are commonly used to imply a process of political fragmentation and uncooperative hostility. This is, of course, an unfortunate and inaccurate representation of the people who live here that says more about the prejudices of those using such terms than it does about any specific population in the Balkans. Because of the pejorative connotations the term sometimes holds, many from the region prefer the regional identifier of Southeast Europe, despite colloquially talking about the region as the Balkans. On multiple occasions, several of my interlocutors from throughout the region have advocated identifying the region as Southeast Europe, yet in informal settings referred to the region in terms that are both ubiquitous and ambiguous, such as Balkan culture or Balkan mentality or historically Balkan -all terms that captured something meaningful and cohesive yet not easily bounded. Within a geospatial sense, in relation to the European continent, Southeast Europe works somewhat neutrally to convey a bounded region. But in terms of holding the ambiguity of boundaries and belonging within a local context of understanding, Balkans remains useful.
What I mean by this utility is that the boundaries implied in the term Balkans are inherently ambiguous and thus also a metaphor for understanding the context of everyday life. At times, people identify as belonging to a particular group, and at other times they may not. Named after a mountain range that forms the watershed between the Adriatic and Black Seas, the Balkan Peninsula includes those lands bounded by the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, Marmara, and Black Seas and the Danube and Sava Rivers. The cultural boundaries of what is within the Balkans is imprecise. The fluidity of where one group ends and another begins is locally understood and yet in a way obscured by titular nation-states. Where the Balkans end is fuzzier than where southeast Europe ends (though southeast Europe has its own problems of precision), and perhaps part of the challenge to understanding the region is to be held in that fuzziness.
Within this volume, the fuzziness of what constitutes the in- and out-groups can be seen. The various authors contributions cover Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, with reference to Ottoman Turkey. Yet some parts of Greece do not self-categorize as Balkan despite falling within the Balkan Peninsula. Sometimes Slovenians consider themselves Balkan in relation to their Yugoslav experience, and other times they distance themselves by claiming themselves as central European; likewise, Romanians move between Balkan and central European. These are some of the peripheries of the Balkans and are included because it is along the periphery that the precision of a category can be appreciated for its fluidity. All chapters engage with populations connected to a Balkan identity and collectively convey the types of variation and exchange found by people across the region. As such, the chapters also come together to connect the everyday to the variability of experience across the region. After all, while any term may be complicated or have seemingly political ends, understanding the context in which people live means we also must look at the more quotidian environment of struggles and meaning-making.

The Everyday of Life
Much of the context of life s stories comes from the everyday. The everyday is common yet also exceptional in its ability to influence the trajectory of our days. It is the home where most of life takes place, and yet its place as an object of discussion is often a second-level analysis for those concerned with specific events; everyday life underlies all major events yet is often overlooked for its seeming banality and unremarkability. 2 But the significance of the ordinary and commonplace becomes relevant when we think about notions of what makes a life worth living and how people come to value their surroundings.
Collectively, this volume focuses on the everyday-ness -both affectively and popularly-of experience in the Balkans. There is both poetry and urgency in the everyday, and part of what these chapters convey is a context for understanding the free verse quality common to life. The urgency should be apparent to anyone (self-)reflective about life and its conditions, poignantly captured in the dictum attributed to the playwright William Archer: Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty. What makes life dramatic for our interlocutors-though also for ourselves-is that in the everyday, events unfold organically, situated as they are in a specific time and place. And they unfold with some need for response, for engagement. There is ambiguity here, but it is made manageable through connection with others.
In this book, we focus on the nature of the everyday to see the drama and the context as life unfolds. All people have dramatic-and meaningful-lives, even when it may not seem as such to those on the outside. When we put a frame around home and contextualize it in a larger setting-that setting being the everyday of life-we can more easily make sense of what is going on in a place and how people are thus relating experience and events to the story of their lives. Speaking of the everyday and everyday life is a way of seeing more holistically what goes into making life.

Seeing Everyday Life in the Balkans
In some respects, this book captures a moment in time, or rather, particular moments in particular times. It shows the specific as a way to make sense of the general, in part by saying that without the specific, the general becomes disassociated from the very actors for whom events are personal. After all, it is when experience is personal that it becomes meaningful. As such, this book conveys everydays as they are experienced from different perspectives to show the diverse character constituent of the region. In looking at the quotidian details of the Balkans, we can come to appreciate the more affective contexts in which people exist. The everydays of our interlocutors evolve across a lifetime, and we see this evolution in these chapters. Tomorrow is different from both today and yesterday, even as antecedents of the latter permeate-at times, even define-the former, yet coherence remains within a life s trajectory.
The structure of this book reflects a way of seeing everyday life around six loosely categorized and interrelated topics of engagement and meaning-making. Beginning with the historical context of everyday life in the region, we are reminded that origins evolve, in varied ways, into presents that both reflect and obscure the past. This is played out in subsequent sections, where aspects of home, work, politics, religion, and art convey the dynamic context in which relationships emerge. As the chapters collectively express, to live in any place is to hold multiple interests across topics that engage in the present that surrounds us. This is true for those in the Balkans as well as people anywhere else and thus serves as a touchstone from which more empathic modes of understanding may prevail.
All this is a way of saying that this is a book that not only speaks to the local context of the region but also recognizes the varied components of everyday life that give a way for making sense of change and how it is both brought about and lived through. This is a book about the people living in the Balkans, but it is also about the centrality of seeing the seeming mundanity of the everyday as crucial to understanding any population. Both celebration and toil-and everything in between-take place in relationships that begin in the everyday of ordinary time.

Notes

1 . See Bakic-Hayden 1995; Todorova 2009.
2 . While the book largely concerns itself with the ethnographic task of seeing life unfold in daily contexts, and this contributes implicitly to framing the everyday as a way to see the world, more explicit engagement with theories of everyday life can be found in the work of, among others, Berger and Luckmann (1966), Bourdieu (1977), de Certeau (1984), Felski (1999), Heller (1984), Highmore (2002, 2011), Lefebvre (2014), Schutz (1970), and Schutz and Luckmann (1973, 1989). As such, there is a theoretically rich debate in the literature that shows how the varied ways of understanding the everyday affect the ways in which it is made sense of analytically. De Certeau sees the everyday as filled with acts of resistance and subversion whereas more sociological and phenomenological accounts, such as those offered by Schutz-and his students, Berger and Luckmann-look at the everyday as a space of information and information making. Felski offers a useful definition that combines the works of Heller, Lefebvre, and Schutz to ground everyday life in three facets: time, space, and modality. The temporality of the everyday, I suggest, is that of repetition, the spatial ordering of the everyday is anchored in a sense of home and the characteristic mode of experiencing the everyday is that of habit (Felski 1999, 18).

References

Bakic-Hayden, Milica. 1995. Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia. Slavic Review 54 (4): 917-31.
Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. 1966. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge . New York: Anchor Books.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice . Translated by Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
de Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life . Translated by Stephen Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Felski, Rita. 1999. The Invention of Everyday Life. New Formations 33: 15-31.
Heller, gnes. 1984. Everyday Life . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Highmore, Ben, ed. 2002. The Everyday Life Reader . London: Routledge.
Highmore, Ben. 2011. Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday . London: Routledge.
Lefebvre, Henri. 2014. Critique of Everyday Life . Translated by John Moore. London: Verso.
Schutz, Alfred. 1970. On Phenomenology and Social Relations . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Schutz, Alfred, and Thomas Luckmann. 1973. The Structures of the Life-World . Vol. 1. Translated by Richard M. Zaner and H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. 2 vols. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Schutz, Alfred, and Thomas Luckmann. 1989. The Structures of the Life-World . Vol. 2. Translated by Richard M. Zaner and David J. Parent. 2 vols. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Todorova, Maria. 2009. Imagining the Balkans . Updated ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DAVID W. MONTGOMERY is Director of Program Development for Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion (CEDAR) and Associate Research Professor at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. He is author of Practicing Islam: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Navigation in Kyrgyzstan and of Living with Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World (with Adam Seligman and Rahel Wasserfall).
Section I: The (Historical) Context of Everyday Life
The space that constitutes the everyday has a history that precedes our usage of it. Put another way, history has both latent and manifest functions that provide context to sociality. But history is a long narrative, and within the context of this volume, we can allude to only some of the ways its arc has brought us to where we are. As such, this section covers a great deal of ground to remind the reader that events begetting events are part of the progressions through which the everyday is navigated.
Andrew Wachtel lays the groundwork for understanding the contemporary Balkans by exploring the relationship between history and everyday life, from the Roman colonization of the peninsula through the migration of the Slavs and the effect of Christianization on how people live. Within the early historical record, it is hard to find reference to everyday life, but he nonetheless shows how these varied shifts in history have left a mark that remains evident today. Discussing the challenge of locally maintaining security, pek Yosmao lu turns our attention to everday instances of misconduct-and the shifting mores of what is considered misconduct -during the Ottoman period. Patrick Patterson describes how Yugoslavs during the socialist period managed the physical spaces in which they lived. And both Mary Neuburger and Keith Brown add depth and context to our seeing the caf and burek as aspects of everyday consumption that are laden with social and political meanings rooted within a historical context.
Together these chapters speak to a dynamic engagement with the past, socially navigated in seen and unseen ways.
2 Early Balkan Everyday Life

Andrew Wachtel

A Roman Land
It is often said that history is written by the victors. It could equally be added that history has generally been written by the rich and powerful and records their interests. As a result, capturing the texture of the everyday life of normal people in ancient times is quite difficult. In the last few decades, however, more attention has been paid to the history of everyday life, and new tools, particularly archaeological ones, have allowed for a surprisingly broad understanding of how people lived their daily lives. 1 This is particularly the case for the Roman Empire, which, in addition to a wide range of written sources, left a well-documented material heritage behind, at least if we speak about major centers. When we turn to provincial areas such as the Balkans, however, our vision gets increasingly hazy, and we have to extrapolate from what we know of life in the metropolitan centers.
Beginning in the first century AD, the Roman Empire became the earliest organized political group to colonize both the coast and the interior of the Balkans. As a result, the Roman presence was felt almost everywhere on the peninsula and remains visible today. Among the cities the Romans founded, or enormously expanded, were Emona (Ljubljana), Singidunum (Belgrade), Serdica (Sofia) Philippopolis (Plovdiv), Spalatum (Split), and Dyrrhachium (Durr s). The greatest Roman engineering feat in the region was the construction of the 520-mile-long Via Egnatia, the first major road built outside Italy, which linked Dyrrhachium with Byzantium. Along with a more northerly route that followed river valleys from Emona through Singidunum, Philippopolis, and Adrianople, these remain the main lines of communication through the Balkans to this day.
The Romans also colonized the Balkans extensively. Although most of the region would lose its Roman character in the wake of the barbarian invasions that began in the fourth century AD, some coastal cities of the Adriatic (Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar) still contained Latin-speaking populations until the Renaissance. Curiously, the Roman presence lasted longest in one of the most marginal parts of the empire: the Dacian provinces, which were annexed after Trajan s victory over the Dacians in AD 106. The Romans killed off the local nobility, exiled or enslaved much of the native population, and encouraged colonization of the province by settlers from other parts of the empire. Although barbarian invasions forced the Romans to pull back to the Danube a mere 150 years later, the colonists, who presumably had mingled in time with the remaining Dacian population, stayed behind to become the ancestors of today s Romanians.

Figure 2.1. Ruins in Butrint, a World Heritage site in Albania that was an ancient Greek and later Roman city before coming under Byzantine administration and later abandoned in the Middle Ages, 2013. Photograph by David W. Montgomery.
Perhaps the most influential person to be born in the Balkans during Roman times was the future emperor Constantine. In the course of a series of brilliant military campaigns between AD 312 and 325, he reunited the Roman Empire, which had been split in half by his predecessors. In the course of these campaigns, he also converted to Christianity, though his Christianity was rather unorthodox, mixing the still not fully formed doctrines of the church with a pagan sun cult. Nevertheless, he encouraged the church and donated enormous sums for its expansion, and it was as a Christian that he took up residence in his capital Constantinople (today s Istanbul), formally dedicated in AD 330. Built on the site of an older Greek settlement called Byzantion, the city is located in a supremely strategic position athwart the land and sea routes connecting Europe and Asia. Constantine s decision to locate the seat of his power here was to have a momentous effect on the entire Roman world. It signified a turning away from the West, from Latin and pagan Rome, toward the Greek and Christian East.
The city grew rapidly. Under Emperor Theodosius in the early fifth century, massive walls were constructed to protect the city from attacks from the north. They would serve their purpose for over one thousand years. By the reign of Justinian, which began in 527, Constantinople was the largest city in Europe, with a population approaching half a million. In this period, many of the most famous early Byzantine monuments were built, including the Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia).
The civilization centered in Constantinople was a curious amalgam of old and new. Though the empire is conventionally called the Byzantine, its inhabitants never used the term, calling themselves instead Rhomaioi (Romans) and considering themselves the heirs of the moribund Western city. They spoke primarily Greek, however, which replaced Latin as the main language of the empire by the mid-sixth century. Though the empire would suffer ups and downs, it managed to retain its integrity until Constantinople was captured by Catholic crusaders in 1204. Even after this catastrophe, it rebounded, though never fully recovered, before its final destruction in 1453.
The empire s strength derived from its unique blend of secular and religious institutional power. It was first and foremost a Christian state, whose basic doctrines were defined by the church fathers, the church councils, and the decisions of various Byzantine emperors. Although during the early centuries the church was racked by heresies and doctrinal disagreements, after the final victory of the icon venerators in 843, the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church became essentially fixed. By comparison to Catholicism, Orthodoxy was a static religion that placed great stock in liturgy and ritual and tended to be less concerned with individual achievements. The emperor, chosen by God, was more powerful than any Western ruler. It was he, not the patriarch (the spiritual leader of the Orthodox church), who presided over church councils and expounded dogmatic pronouncements. While Catholic popes had the authority to bend even the most powerful kings to their will at times, the Byzantine patriarch was appointed by the emperor and could be dismissed by him. When one eleventh-century patriarch tried to challenge this arrangement, he was arrested, beaten, and thrown into prison, where he died before his trial.
Although Byzantine society changed and evolved in the course of its millennium-long existence, one of the great illusions propounded by this civilization was that change was unnecessary. Harmony, order, precedent, symmetry, and stasis were supreme values, as can be seen most clearly perhaps in the classic lines of a building like Hagia Sophia, the beautifully preserved mosaics in Ravenna, or the incantatory melodies of Byzantine church music. Defending the multitude of Byzantine ceremonies to his son in the tenth century, Emperor Constantine VII remarked: If the body of a man were not gracefully formed, and if its members were casually arranged and inharmoniously disposed, one would say that the result was chaos and disorder. The same is true for the institution of empire; if it not be guided and governed by order, it will in no way differ from vulgar deportment in a private person. 2
Order was preserved not merely by a complex series of secular and religious rituals, but also through the efforts of an enormous bureaucracy. Byzantine bureaucrats were generally highly educated, both in theology and in the Greek classics (rhetoric and poetry particularly), and they frequently vied with the empire s military leaders, who were based primarily in outlying territories where they exercised extensive civil and military control. Both bureaucrats and military men were supported by the labor of farmers, who made up the bulk of the population. Farmers worked primarily on small plots, producing sufficient food to support their families and to pay taxes. Many tilled land owned by monasteries, and in later periods, many worked on the extensive estates of provincial lords. In the cities, craft industries were regulated by guilds, including organizations for butchers, fishmongers, bakers, and producers of silk goods, jewelry, and perfumes. Not surprisingly in such an orderly state, prices were strictly controlled by the state.
Although much of the Balkan Peninsula would be lost during various ebbs of Byzantine power, the empire and its culture nevertheless exerted a crucial influence on developments in the Balkans between the seventh century, when the Slavic invasions destroyed Roman urban life in the central and northern Balkans, and the thirteenth century, by which time the Slavic invaders had converted to Christianity.
Three central processes dominate the history of the Balkans from the sixth century until the beginning of the Ottoman conquest in the latter half of the fourteenth. The period is marked by the migration of the final permanent residents of the Balkan Peninsula to the region: these were, most important-because eventually most numerous-the Slavs, but also the Turks (first Bulgars and then Ottomans) to the south and east, the Magyars (Hungarians) in the north, and finally the Roma (Gypsies). These new peoples joined those already present in the region-the Greeks, the Illyrians (likely ancestors of the Albanians), and the Romanized Dacians. With their arrival, the basic ethnic and linguistic composition of the Balkans was fixed.
It was also during this period that many of these peoples formed their first political states. Though they had arrived as a motley array of loosely organized tribes, under the influence of Byzantine models between the eighth and thirteenth centuries, the Bosnians, Bulgarians, Croats, Hungarians, Romanians, and Serbs would each develop an independent, though generally fragile, state. They were all to lose their political independence after the Ottoman conquest, but hazy memories of medieval glory, preserved in religious institutions, architectural monuments, and oral peasant culture, would remain to be marshaled by nineteenth-century nation-building intellectuals and politicians.
Finally, this period saw the Christianization of the majority of the Balkan peoples. While many Balkan inhabitants had probably been Christians in the fifth century, after the Slavic invasions the peninsula was again pagan, with the exception of Constantinople, Salonica, and the walled cities on the Adriatic coast. In the course of some three hundred years, the newcomers would be evangelized by missionaries from either Constantinople or Rome. The competition for influence between the two main Christian centers was fierce, and ultimately the region was split, approximately along the line of division between the former eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire: the northern and western Balkans became primarily Catholic, while the southern and eastern Balkans were primarily Orthodox. Conversion to Christianity, initially by the highest political elites and later by the common folk, brought enormous changes, for Christianity permeated daily life (though never entirely destroyed the vestiges of older, pagan traditions). Rituals connected with saints days, festivals, and solemn church holidays, intimate events such as baptisms, marriages, and funerals, all took on a new coloration. Furthermore, Christianity brought literacy, at least to the elites, and by making available Christian and some classical learning, opened new possibilities for cultural development. Finally, the architectural and artistic monuments of Christianity were visible to all and can still be seen throughout the Balkans.

A Slavic Land
In its heyday, the Roman Empire controlled the entire Balkan Peninsula. And while the Balkan provinces had never been of central concern to the empire, they were crisscrossed by imperial highways and dotted with significant urban centers, both along the coasts and inland. By the sixth century, however, weakened by hundreds of years of invasions from the north and east, the eastern half of the then definitively split empire controlled the peninsula only as far north as the Danube River. Beginning in the early years of that century, raids across the Danube by peoples the Greeks had never before encountered became endemic. The Byzantine chroniclers, unsure as to who exactly these invaders were, called them Huns, Sclavenes, and Antes. By the mid- to late seventh century, scarcely 150 years later, Slavs had settled practically the entire peninsula. Byzantine settlements remained only along the coasts and in the lands immediately surrounding the capital.
From the surviving records, it is clear that the Slavs wreaked havoc on the Balkan urban infrastructure, as the following account by John of Ephesus (written in about 585) indicates: The accursed people the Slavs arose and passed through the whole of the Hellades, through Thessaly and Thrace, conquering many towns and forts, wasted and burnt, looted. They overcame the country and settled it freely without fear as if it were their own, and strange to say to the present day inhabit it. 3 He seems particularly surprised that the Slavs remained and this was indeed something new in the Byzantine experience. Previous invaders had been nomads on horseback who attacked swiftly and then withdrew, but the Slavs came to stay. They began to farm the land, using simple wooden and then iron plows to cultivate grains, vegetables, and fruits; keeping herds and flocks of domestic animals; and brewing beer and making wine.
The Slavs reintroduced paganism throughout the Balkans. Because pagan practices were vigorously suppressed after the Slavs themselves were Christianized, we know little about the religious traditions of these then illiterate peoples, but it appears that the Slavs had a well-developed set of beliefs concerning the world of evil spirits (many of which survived in rural areas into the early twentieth century). Demons could inhabit any place, from the home to the fields, forests, and streams, and had to be placated. The dead were particularly dangerous, including those who became vampires, blood-sucking spirits whose name is apparently of Balkan origin. Festivals took place at strategic points of the year, in particular midsummer s eve. The tradition of lighting a bonfire on this night and dancing and singing around it, still practiced today, derives from this festival.
Compared with the rich material culture of late antiquity, that of the early Slavs in the Balkans was poor. Archaeologists have recovered large quantities of handmade pottery, but the invaders do not appear to have used potter s wheels. By the tenth century, however, the Slavs had developed a professional pottery industry, with wheel-made objects fired in closed kilns at relatively high temperatures. Early Slavs were skilled smiths as well and produced a wide variety of iron implements, from knives to plowshares. The inventory of objects used by the Slavs was not, however, as limited as the archaeological evidence suggests. For where Balkan dwellers in late antiquity had used ceramics and metals intensively, the Slavs employed cloth, skins, and wood. Unfortunately, these are far more perishable. Nevertheless, some pictorial and written descriptions of daily life do exist, and their accuracy has been confirmed by finds of objects that were buried deep in bogs. Men appear to have worn a kind of knee-length long-sleeved tunic fastened at the waist by a leather belt. Underneath they wore tight breeches and leather shoes or boots. Women wore linen or woolen dresses. Earrings, rings, and bracelets of silver and semiprecious stones frequently found in graves attest to a love of adornment.
After they settled down, the Slavs constructed houses. These were usually sunken-floored one-story huts with an oven, used for heating and cooking, in one corner. Such houses were not built to last. Most probably, fields nearby would be intensively cultivated for some years and then abandoned as the land became less productive, for the early Slavs do not appear to have practiced crop rotation or fertilization. They did not have to develop these techniques because the abundance of available land in these sparsely populated areas allowed them simply to move a short distance away, clear new land and rebuild their simple homes.
The Slavic invaders had no experience with urban life. Lacking any complex political organization, the invaders, led by a chief and his military retinue, plundered whatever territory they could and then settled down to a life of subsistence farming supplemented by occasional raids. Having been looted repeatedly, the majority of the Balkan towns were abandoned in the course of the seventh and eighth centuries, with urban life reduced to Constantinople, Salonica, and the coastal cities, including Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Spalatum (Split). From this time on, a relative paucity of cities, especially in the core Balkan region, would remain a feature of life until modern times. The economy also contracted. Although archaeologists find coins from the late antique period all over the Balkans, almost no Byzantine coinage from the seventh and eighth centuries has been uncovered, suggesting that subsistence farming and barter became the norm, and that long-distance land-based trade all but disappeared.
By the ninth century, however, the Byzantine Empire, which had almost collapsed in the two previous centuries, was again expanding. Enterprising merchants began to venture out on the Roman roads. Sea traffic, though harried by piracy, revived along the Adriatic and Black Sea coasts. Under the influence of a revitalized Byzantine Empire, the once barbarian Slavs and Bulgars began to form centralized kingdoms and to rebuild urban areas, generally around the courts of local princes. These included Pliska and Preslav in Bulgaria as early as the ninth century and Ras in Serbia in the eleventh. Cities stimulated trade in the interior of the Balkans, which slowly grew, despite the almost constant warfare characteristic of this period. By the twelfth century, mining reappeared, particularly in Serbia and in Bosnia, as the names of new towns such as Srebrenica and Olovo (Silverton and Leadville) attest. To develop mines, rulers encouraged foreigners, including German-speaking Saxons, to settle on their lands. Nevertheless, throughout the medieval period and well into the twentieth century, the average Balkan dweller remained a farmer.
Although most contemporary Balkan countries trace their ancestry back to medieval predecessors, the states that grew up in the Balkans beginning around the ninth century were not like modern nation-states. Medieval states were primarily the creation of charismatic rulers, who exerted nominal political control over as large a territory as possible. They generally incorporated local lords in adjacent lands, with either carrots (the promise of continued local autonomy and booty as the kingdom expanded at the expense of neighbors) or sticks (threats of being deposed and replaced by others more loyal). All states were, from a modern perspective, multinational, for they contained speakers of multiple languages and cultures. Although the highest elites in a given medieval state would likely speak the same language, no medieval ruler made any attempt to coerce his subjects to accept the customs or language of the sovereign.
The Byzantine Empire was undoubtedly the model for all the Balkan medieval kingdoms. Although it had been in crisis when the Slavs and Bulgars entered the region, in comparison to the motley group of invading tribes, Byzantium was still a well-ordered bureaucratic state with a functioning royal court, military, tax collection system, and centralized religion. Even as they competed with Byzantium, the Slavs and Bulgars learned from it and ultimately created, in effect, a series of mini-Byzantiums. In imitation of the Byzantine emperor, powerful local rulers attempted to develop among their subjects a feeling of loyalty. They built rich capital cities and established elaborate court rituals. They accepted Christianity for themselves and their subjects, and encouraged the appearance of state churches loyal to the ruler and often dependent on his patronage.
The first Balkan group to create its own state was the Bulgars. As early as 681, the marauding Bulgar chief Isperikh forced the Byzantines to cede territory south of the Danube to him. The Turkic-speaking Bulgars themselves appear not to have been very numerous, perhaps no more than ten thousand warriors who took over the leadership of a larger group of Slavs. By the early ninth century, the Bulgars had created a centralized and powerful state. It was ruled primarily by a Turkic aristocracy, which over the next few hundred years became thoroughly Slavicized. In the period between the reigns of Khan Krum (803-14) and King Symeon I (893-927), this state expanded from a relatively small territory straddling the Danube to an enormous kingdom that controlled almost the entire Balkan Peninsula.
One can get a hint at the splendor of Simeon s court from the account of John the Exarch, written in the early tenth century:

When some poor foreigner from afar approaches the Tsar s city and sees it, he is awed. And when he gets to the gates, when he enters and sees the buildings on both sides, embellished with stones and carved wood, he is amazed. And when he enters the compound and sees the tall roofs and churches, abundantly ornamented with precious stones, inlaid wood and velvets, enters the palace-with its marble and copper, silver and gold-he realizes that he does not know what to compare this to . . . but if he should happen to see the Tsar inside, sitting, wearing his mantle set with pearls, with the golden necklace about his neck, and bracelets on his arms, girdled with his purple belt with his sword hanging at his side, flanked by his boyars wearing their golden necklaces, belts and bracelets-well, when he returns home if someone asks what did you see there, he will answer I can find no words for it. 4
In the late twelfth century, a Serbian state began its ascent in the southwest Balkans. Beginning from the humble principality of Zeta (more or less today s Montenegro), the Serbs expanded rapidly between 1190, when King Stefan I Nemanja (reigned 1166-96) removed the Serbs from Byzantine control, and the mid-fourteenth century, when, under the rule of Stefan Uro IV Du an (1331-55), the Serbs controlled large territories in what is today southern Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and Greece. Like Symeon of Bulgaria, Du an dreamed not merely of controlling a great Serbian kingdom but of inheriting the Byzantine Empire itself. Having moved his capital from Ra ka (in the south of today s Serbia) to Skopje, Du an proclaimed himself emperor of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians. The law code he promulgated in 1349, clearly derived from Byzantine sources, illustrates the high level of sophistication of Serbian feudal society. Though it mandated cruel punishments for many offenses, it was liberal regarding the rights and privileges of non-Serbians in Du an s lands, allowing Greek and Saxon towns to live under the laws they followed before being conquered.
When the Slavs overran the Balkan Peninsula, they were unable to capture the walled cities along the Adriatic coast. During the medieval period, one of them, Ragusa (Dubrovnik), grew into a small but powerful city-state. Though the city s leaders remained mostly Latin and later Italian speakers, Dubrovnik s populace was from an early period a mixed group including Slavs and Latin speakers. Inhabitants of a small city-state (the walled city itself probably never had a population greater than seventy-five hundred), Dubrovnik residents relied on their wits to survive. Politically, Dubrovnik was an oligarchy, led for much of its existence by some one hundred noble families. Dubrovnik was able to exploit its protected site and favorable geographic position as the last major port between the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, and as the terminus of land routes from Bosnia and Serbia to the sea, to develop into a leading commercial center by the eleventh century. Ragusan merchants traveled extensively, taking advantage of their republic s independent foreign policy to carve out trading opportunities. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Ragusans specialized in such products as skins, wool, honey, and salt. By the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, they were busy trading lead and silver mined in Serbia and Bosnia.

A Christian Land
It is difficult to re-create a picture of everyday life in the late medieval period. What we do know for certain is that the majority of the population was involved one way or another with agriculture. Whether farmers were slaves, serfs, or freemen, most probably never ventured very far from the places they were born, and they used agricultural techniques and implements that were little changed from Roman times, which can be seen either as a sign of stagnation or a recognition that such agricultural practices were effective, if not exceptionally productive. According to Jacques Lefort, the average peasant household in the Balkans would have consisted of around five people, who would have had a single ox, a cow, a pig, four goats or sheep, and poultry. 5 They would have lived in relatively simple wooden houses surrounded by small plots of land on which they grew cereals, fruits, and vegetables. In coastal regions, olive and grape production was common. Peasant families paid a variety of taxes to local landlords, monasteries, or directly to the state, and in general, we can guess that even in the best of times peasant families did not produce significantly larger amounts than required to pay taxes and what was necessary for their own survival.
None of the medieval Balkan kingdoms would survive directly into the early modern period, as all were overrun by the Ottoman Empire between the late fourteenth and late fifteenth centuries. As a result, beyond vague memories of bygone glory, little was passed down to posterity from the medieval Balkan political experience. What did endure, however, was the cultural and religious legacy of Christianization.
Christianity had a number of advantages that ensured its eventual triumph over paganism. For one thing, it was well organized. With a strong hierarchy centered in either Constantinople or Rome, it could send a coherent and consistent message to the people over a long period. After an early period of hesitation, Christianity was usually supported by local political leaders, who saw it as a unifying ideology, and who therefore encouraged and supported the work of the well-organized clerics. Furthermore, Christianity was flexible in its ability to incorporate preexisting practices, thereby making the transition from paganism to Christianity relatively smooth. Finally, it produced lasting texts, both visual and literary. Most obvious were imposing and copiously decorated church buildings, which came to dominate the landscape of both the few urban areas and rural centers. Churches, in turn, sponsored the production of literary texts, which, even despite low levels of literacy, provided a permanent tradition that the illiterate pagan priests could not match.
Although the formal split between the Eastern and Western churches would not occur until 1054, deep divisions between them appeared much earlier. Thus, when evangelization was undertaken in the eighth and ninth centuries, Rome and Byzantium were rivals for converts among the Balkan pagans. In the end, the line of cleavage between the Latin (Roman Catholic) and the Greek (Orthodox) churches would run through the middle of the peninsula. This seemingly neat picture, however, masks a more complex reality. One can view the process of Christianization in the Balkans as a triangular struggle in which local Slav leaders attempted to achieve as much control over local church affairs as possible by playing Rome and Constantinople against each other. In principle, a medieval ruler who accepted Christianity ceded control over the religious life of his kingdom. Nevertheless, Balkan rulers realized they could exploit their position between the two great Christian religious centers. By threatening to convert to whichever branch of the church offered the most autonomy, they pressed for, and often received, powers usually reserved for Rome or Constantinople, such as the authority to appoint bishops and the right to use their own language for the liturgy.
Monasticism was a central part of Byzantine and later Balkan Christian life. The first monastery in Constantinople was founded in the late fourth century, and there were already almost thirty monasteries in the city by the mid-sixth century. As opposed to the Western church where monks were mostly bound to centralized orders, Byzantine monastic life was centered in individual monasteries. In the cities, monks provided extensive social services, manning hospitals, inns, and schools. Those in the countryside generally formed self-sufficient agricultural communities, in some cases richly supported by noble patrons through gifts of lands and serfs. Monks, who had to remain celibate and from whom the higher clergy were exclusively drawn, were considered holier and more spiritual than parish priests, who by contrast were required to marry.
Powerful monasteries were founded throughout the Balkans. When Bulgaria became Christianized, for example, a number of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, particularly St. Kliment and St. Naum, founded monastic centers in today s Macedonia. John of Rila moved from a monastery near the then-capital Preslav to the inaccessible Rila Mountains to lead a solitary life. Other monks followed, however, and by 930, his disciples had founded a monastic house that exists to this day. Although there were both male and female monasteries, the greatest center of Orthodox monastic life was the exclusively male Holy Mountain (Mount Athos), on a peninsula in northern Greece. This self-governing community is the only institution to have survived from the Balkan Middle Ages to the present. The first monks came to Athos in the early ninth century, living an ascetic life on this rocky peninsula. By the middle of that century, there were sufficient monks to necessitate the construction of a lavra (an arrangement in which monks live in separate though nearby cells but come together for prayer). By the tenth century, coenobitic monasteries (in which all property was held in common and monks performed duties collectively) were organized, and Athos was recognized as a self-governing monastic community under an elected head. Although the first Athonite monks spoke Greek, in time other branches of the Orthodox Church founded or took over existing monasteries. By the end of the Byzantine period, tens of thousands of monks inhabited Mount Athos. Today, only a few thousand remain, but they still live according to the ancient monastic laws as a self-regulating community.

Figure 2.2. Excavations at the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon in Ohrid, Macedonia, 2007. Photograph by David W. Montgomery.
The most visible effect of Christianization, however, was in art and architecture. Although the first artists who built and decorated churches in the Balkans were undoubtedly imported from Constantinople, the appearance of hybrid works of art and architecture that blend typical Byzantine styles with local particularities indicate that native artists emerged quickly. One striking example is the haunting icon of St. Theodore (in the National Museum in Sofia), made of painted ceramic tiles. While the saint s austere face and piercing gaze are typical of Byzantine painting, the tiles are an artistic material more typical of Central Asia than of Byzantium and probably reflect the oriental roots of the Turkic Bulgars.
In the long run, however, the most important long-term influence of Christianization was its contribution to the advent of literacy among the Slavs. The first alphabet for writing a Slavic language was developed by the missionary brothers Cyril and Methodius, who had been raised in a bilingual Slav-Greek environment near Salonika. The language into which Cyril and Methodius translated the basic texts necessary for the purposes of evangelical work, now called Old Church Slavic, proved comprehensible across the entire Slavic medieval world, and it remains the religious language of Slavic Orthodox Christians to this day. An Old Church Slavic literary culture gradually developed throughout the Balkans during the medieval period, flourishing at the courts of various rulers and in the great monastic centers. This culture easily crossed existing political boundaries, and itinerant Orthodox monks carried texts as far afield as Russia.
While most written work was purely religious in character, with saint s lives and sermons being the most widespread genres, there is also evidence of secular writing. The most touching text of the pre-Ottoman period is a lament for her dead son written by the Serbian noblewoman Jefimija (Jelena Mrnjav evi , 1349-1405) and preserved on the back of an icon now kept at the Hilander Monastery on Mount Athos. This lovely poem indicates that, whatever historical distance may separate us from the Middle Ages, some emotions remain universal: Little icon, but a great gift, which bears the most holy images of the Lord and the most pure Mother of God, presented by a great and holy man to my baby boy, Uglje a, who in his innocent infancy was taken into the eternal family and his body, created in sin, was buried in the grave. Grant, Lord Christ, and You, O pure Mother of God, to me, miserable, that I should see the rising of my soul, and that I see the souls of those who bore me and of my little son whom I bore, for whom grief ever burns in my heart, overcome by the bonds of motherhood. 6

Notes

1 . See, for example, the five-volume series Histoire de la vie Priv e , edited by Philippe Ari s and Georges Duby (Paris: Seuil, 1985-87). Published in English between 1987 and 1891 as A History of Private Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press).
2 . Quoted in Speros 1997, 8.
3 . Quoted in Barford 2001, 61.
4 . Dinekov 1969, translation by Andrew Wachtel.
5 . Lefort 2002.
6 . Original text at https://otacmilic.com/stihovi-jefimije-prve-srpske-pesnikinje-tuga-za-mladencem-ugljesom/ Accessed June 11, 2018, translation by Andrew Wachtel.

References

Barford, Paul M. 2001. The Early Slavs: Culture and Society in Early Medieval Eastern Europe . London: British Museum.
Dinekov, Petr, ed. 1969. Six Days, Iz starata b lgarska literature . Sofia: B lgarski pisatel.
Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, eds. 1997. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843-1261 . New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Laiou, Angeliki E., ed. 2002. The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century . Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks.
Lefort, Jacques. 2002. The Rural Economy, Seventh-Twelfth Centuries. In The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century , edited by A. E. Laiou, 231-314. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks.
Vryonis, Speros P., Jr. 1997. Byzantine Society and Civilization. In The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843-1261 , edited by H. C. Evans and W. D. Wixom, 4-19. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Wachtel, Andrew Baruch. 2008. The Balkans in World History . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

ANDREW WACHTEL is Rector of Narxoz University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an active translator from multiple Slavic languages.
3 Crimes and Misdemeanors: Scenes of Everyday Life among the Gendarmerie in Ottoman Macedonia, ca. 1900

pek K. Yosmao lu
In an episode of Comedy Central s award-winning show Key and Peele , the actors satirize a Macedonian caf owner s (over)reaction when the customers demand to know the difference between the restaurant s specialty, kebapi , and cevapi , served at the Albanian caf across the street. Obviously offending the owner s sensibilities about Macedonian cuisine, the terrified diners run away as the man starts stabbing the map on the wall with a chef s knife, repeatedly screaming: They [Albanians] are there; we [Macedonians] are here! At the Albanian caf , where they take refuge, the couple is welcomed with a similar reaction at their suggestion that the two dishes seem essentially the same. The episode ends as they make haste to the nearest McDonald s. 1 Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele may overestimate the average TV viewer s appreciation for the finer points of European geography and culinary culture, but the sketch is universally appealing because it so successfully pokes fun at a universal scourge: what Freud called the narcissism of small differences. 2
Macedonia, and the Balkan Peninsula as a whole, is unfortunately associated with all sorts of ills stemming from the narcissism of small differences, such as endemic and atavistic violence, political fragmentation, and civil strife, making the imaginary Macedonian caf owner an all too probable character. This is due in large part to the wars that have afflicted the region, but also in no small measure to a specific way of representation employed by western European scholars and travelers in the region who sought to present it as exotic, foreign, and close yet distant, or as the West of the East. 3 But violence in the Balkans, just like violence in any other part of the world, is neither timeless nor irrational; it has context-specific reasons and a historical background. The kind of violence that we tend to identify as specifically Balkan -namely, ethnic violence-has its roots in the nineteenth century and, by most accounts, in the scramble for territory during what in hindsight seems to be the inexorable collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
It is hard to imagine the details of everyday life in the Balkans during this period when continuous waves of wars and the violent process of nation-state formation rocked the region, not least because the everyday deeds and woes of ordinary people rarely leave their mark in the historical record. For this reason, I have chosen to present here examples that illustrate not the shocking and the extraordinary but the mundane, petty details of life as a small contribution toward our imaginary of normal concerns of normal people in the Balkans. More specifically, I present a few vignettes of life among the Ottoman gendarmerie, a group of people who were assigned the impossible task of maintaining peace and security in the war-torn region of Macedonia-a task that their very presence made even harder.

The Gendarmerie
The first gendarmerie force in the Ottoman Empire was formed in 1879 based on the earlier as kir-i zaptiye (military police) organization. 4 The gendarmes that concern us here, however, belonged to a different group established in 1904 as an auxiliary force of the regular army, modeled after the Italian carabinieri, and under the command of an Italian general, Degiorgis Pasha. From the beginning, the new gendarmerie force was met by suspicion and even hostility by members of the Ottoman Third Army stationed in Macedonia. The new reformed gendarmerie was the direct result of the M rzsteg Reform program, initiated or, as far as the Ottomans were concerned, imposed by the European powers following the Ilinden Uprising against Ottoman rule in Macedonia in the summer of 1903.
Recruits into the reformed gendarmerie joined the force voluntarily. They were local men who often served in areas close to their place of birth, distinct from regular army conscripts who came from various parts of the empire and were subject to obligatory conscription. The typical recruit was a poor and illiterate young man from the countryside for whom the promise of a salary, however meager and irregularly paid, made up for the hardships the job involved. 5 As we shall see later in this chapter, there were also certain fringe benefits associated with the position that made it seem like a reliable occupation in an environment with few other prospects for upward social mobility. The select few who were able to read and write were immediately hired with the rank of sergeant.
Since the new gendarmerie s mission was to promote peace and security in an area where the majority of the population consisted of Christians (albeit of fractious sects), the initiative required that Christians should be included among its numbers. Even though hundreds of Christians did indeed join the new gendarmerie force-due in some measure to specific incentives, such as the exemption from [the] military exemption tax normally paid by non-Muslim males-their representation never reached the desired levels, and an esprit de corps did not develop sufficiently to resolve the mutual suspicion between Muslim and Christian gendarmes entirely. 6
Muslim and Christian members of the reformed gendarmerie attended the school in Salonika, donned their new uniforms, and bore the brunt of resentment on the part of regular soldiers as well as the older gendarmerie together. Upon graduation, they were dispatched as auxiliary forces to different garrisons in the region, and while some must have dutifully performed their tasks, the deeds of those who did not were more likely to have left a written record, which constitutes most of the material for this chapter. It is for this reason that one may get an impression of the gendarmes as an unruly bunch as likely to misbehave and loot as any others with access to means of violence at the time, but one should take the following examples with a grain of salt.

Tobacco and Everyday Crimes
Since the focus of this chapter is everyday forms of misbehavior rather than more egregious infractions, I will not mention acts of violence committed against the civilian population by the gendarmes other than noting that while these were regular occurrences, members of the reformed gendarmerie were relatively better disciplined and not involved in such crimes to the same extent that the older gendarmerie units, irregulars, and common soldiers were. 7 Most common among their misdeeds was tobacco smuggling. This was a frequently and widely committed crime perpetrated not only by members of the gendarmerie, reformed and otherwise, but also by soldiers, civilians, and career criminals. In fact, the volume of smuggled tobacco circulating in the local markets rivaled the legal product according to some estimates.
Tobacco was not an ordinary consumer good; it was as essential as bread to men and women (and even some children) in the Balkans. It had first been introduced into the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. By the seventeenth century, the use of tobacco was widespread, but the legality of its consumption remained dubious. Just like the coffee it usually accompanied, tobacco was viewed by some scholars of Islam and members of the ruling elite as a dangerous substance, not only because of its effects on the mind and body but also because of the social anxieties it produced thanks to its use in public places of gathering, fostering new forms of sociability in the early modern Ottoman Empire. 8 By the nineteenth century, however, none but the extreme purist considered tobacco a sinful substance; cigarettes had replaced the more cumbersome pipes and hookahs, and tobacco had taken root, literally and figuratively, all over the Ottoman Empire. The coffeehouses where it was widely consumed were places where Muslims, Christians, and Jews met and intermingled. Its cultivation, preparation, and trade constituted a lucrative business in the Balkans, especially in Bulgaria, Greece, and Ottoman Macedonia. 9
The cultivation and sale of tobacco was strictly regulated in the Ottoman Empire by a state monopoly that dispensed banderoles to producers to be affixed to tobacco products, just like the small holographic stamps on cigarette packages today. After the Ottoman Empire declared insolvency of its public debt in 1879, an international consortium was established to oversee the payment of its foreign creditors. The Ottoman Public Debt Administration (OPDA), or la Dette , as it was commonly known, collected certain revenues of the Ottoman state and earmarked them for servicing the public debt. After 1883, the OPDA transferred the tobacco concession to another international consortium called the R gie des Tabacs de l Empire Ottoman, which would still pay the OPDA the fixed amount of 750,000 Turkish Liras per year and leave the collection of the tobacco tithe from the cultivators to the OPDA. 10

Figure 3.1. Tobacco and shisha culture remain popular throughout the region. Here, a young Bosnian woman blows smoke rings in Sarajevo, 2014. Photograph by Roska Vrgova.
The Ottoman government was antagonistic toward the R gie and allowed the sale of contraband tobacco to continue more or less unchecked despite repeated pleas and protests of the R gie administrators until the revolution of 1908, after which government forces controlled tobacco smuggling more effectively. Considering the attitude of the government and the small cultivators, joined in their resentment against the R gie, and the vital role cigarettes played in the lives of people, including gendarmes and soldiers who were supposed to prevent smuggling, it should come as no surprise that the sale of contraband tobacco rivaled that of the banderoled product. Carrying guns and wearing uniforms made the soldiers and gendarmes more, rather than less, likely to engage in tobacco smuggling. They did, however, occasionally find themselves on opposing sides of this profitable trade, as was the case one summer day in 1907, when a gendarme, suspicious of the load a soldier was carrying, searched him and seized the banned product. Instead of receiving a reward, he was beaten up by the smuggler s fellow soldiers. 11 This conscientious gendarme was the exception rather than the rule, as attested by documents produced by the command of the reformed gendarmerie forces in Salonika. Two, for instance, from the gendarmerie division in Cuma-i B l (contemporary Blagoevgrad) were caught taking bribes from smugglers in March 1907. Both were discharged from the gendarmerie, and one was sentenced to one month in prison. 12 According to General Degiorgis, this was not sufficient punishment for smugglers and those who facilitated their activities; he recommended that they be sent to Yemen after their dismissal from the force-a punishment that was often tantamount to death at the time, as the Ottomans were fighting a hopeless insurgency in the region. The frequency of complaints against gendarmes engaging in the contraband tobacco trade suggests, however, that the incentives remained greater than the potential for punishment. 13

Drunk and Disorderly Conduct and Other Misdemeanors
Another social activity that often got the gendarmes into trouble was drinking. Despite the injunction against drinking in Islam, consumption of alcohol in the Ottoman Balkans was never limited to the non-Muslims. Taverns, just like coffeehouses, were public places where Muslim and non-Muslim males mixed, if under the shunning gaze of their more pious neighbors. By the nineteenth century, in port cities like Salonika, beer gardens and caf s where men and women mixed had sprung up along fashionable avenues. Such establishments were usually not the kinds of places where gendarmes and common soldiers frequented. They could more often be seen in taverns where the crowds were of more modest backgrounds and jugs of wine cost considerably less. The combination of guns and alcohol rarely results in fortuitous outcomes, however, and countless of these men found themselves at the brink of being court-martialed for brandishing a weapon or getting into fights after a night of heavy drinking. 14
A particularly Ottoman venue of socialization was the muhallebici , the pudding shop, that was not as seedy as the tavern but not quite as respectable as the European-style caf s. Such a pudding shop was evidently the setting for an incident that the Italian general Degiorgis could only describe as detestable. The incident that so shocked him concerned a certain Yusuf Ziya, a corporal employed as a teacher in the gendarmerie school, and Ahmed Ali, one of the pupils in the school. Several people at the school had noticed that Yusuf Ziya called on Ahmed Ali rather frequently and on at least one occasion after the sounding of the curfew. Their behavior raised an alarm after one of the students reportedly overheard the two setting up a rendezvous at a pudding shop in Salonika. R za Adem, a student and former telegram clerk, was also accused of misconduct because he had served as an intermediary between the two according to the report. More specifically, Yusuf Ziya had asked R za Adem to read the words he had scribbled in Morse code on the blackboard. The coded message read, I am burning for this lad; if you can convince him, I will pay you a Lira. Yusuf Ziya then handed R za Adem a letter, presumably to be delivered to Ahmed Ali. 15

Figure 3.2. Kino Bosna, a former cinema turned into an occasional bar and music venue-especially popular on Mondays-in Sarajevo, continues the tavern tradition, 2013. Photograph by Roska Vrgova.
General Degiorgis was scandalized by the conduct of the three and demanded an investigation. When students and other gendarmes of higher rank at the school confirmed the rumors, he personally wrote to the inspector general of the three provinces of Rumeli for the direct dispatch of all three to Yemen after their dismissal from the school. In order to present an effective example to the students, the gendarmes, and the teachers he wrote, the severest punishment is absolutely necessary and desirable for the morale and the discipline of the school and its men. 16 It is not clear, however, whether his wish was granted as speedily, or if at all, since the response of the Inspectorate noted that such decisions were under the authority of the General Command and added simply that General Degiorgis s request had been thence transferred. 17
Even though we do not know how exactly this incident was resolved, it still provides important clues about the shifting spectrum of acceptable behavior and normative conception of morality at the time-not only among the gendarmes in the Balkans but also in the broader Ottoman world. Several things are worthy of note here, especially considering how one might assume this incident would be interpreted under current understandings of normal sexual behavior and relations between teacher and student. For instance, we would consider the excessive and implicitly sexual attention Yusuf Ziya showered on Ahmed Ali a case of sexual harassment. We may also find General Degiorgis s reaction predictable, if not entirely reasonable, based on the assumption that homosexuality was anathema, especially among men in uniform at the time.
There are certain issues that complicate the picture, however. First, we do not know for sure if Ahmed Ali considered himself to be harassed. His conversation with Yusuf R za, at least as it was related in the report, is the only (weak) hint that he may have actually been a willing participant:

[Y USUF R IZA ] Would you meet with me some place today?
[A HMED A LI ] Yes, I would
[YR] Where can I find you?
[AA] At the pudding shop
[YR] Do you have any money
[AA] No
[YR] Then let me give you some.
It was this apparent willingness to go along with Yusuf R za that ultimately got the young gendarme into trouble. Because he did not inform any of his superiors of the treatment he received, the report concluded that he was of low morals. 18 Even though our scant knowledge of this sordid affair, as General Degiorgis would call it, is not enough to conjecture about Ahmed Ali s agency in his presumed seduction by his superior, we do know from a soldier s diary during the First World War that harassment was common enough among the Ottoman military at a comparable time and place. 19 Unfortunately, there is no diary among the documents in question here, which means Ahmed Ali s own opinions on the matter will remain a mystery.
The second, and more important, issue that complicates our interpretation of this incident a hundred years on is the fact that the spectrum of acceptable sexual behavior in the early modern Ottoman Empire was much wider than in modern times. While homosexuality as we understand it today did not quite exist as a separate social category in the early modern Ottoman Empire, male homosexuality was considered within the normal realm of human sexuality-if not openly condoned. 20 Starting in the nineteenth century, however, the modernization of social norms and practices redefined the borders of acceptable sexual behavior, and male homosexuality was pushed to the margins of respectable society. By the turn of the twentieth century, the prevailing public opinion shunned sexuality outside the heteronormative and familial framework, and organizations such as schools and the military were expected to enforce these new norms under pain of punishment even as social practice evidently continued as before. 21 The incident described here took place at the cusp of the emergence of a new morality that did not tolerate male homoeroticism and viewed it as an affront to modern society. General Degiorgis and the Inspector General s Office agreed that the involved gendarmes should be disciplined, but it is worth noting that the response of the inspectorate was muted compared with Degiorgis s apparent disgust, and its referral of the matter to the General Command without comment instead of moving forward with repeated demands of dismissal and dispatch to Yemen reveal a level of equanimity in striking contrast with the Italian general s reaction.

Everyday Mischief
Smoking, drinking, getting in fights, and setting up dates: these are acts that imply ordinariness by their very definition. Yet these were not ordinary times in Ottoman Macedonia. The region was in the middle of an insurgency, violence was endemic, and the Ottoman Empire s rule was about to come to a bloody end. But people, even those with some form of agency in the turmoil that changes political systems and shifts boundaries, such as the gendarmes we have seen here, commonly gravitate toward the familiar and the mundane. This is why we can easily recognize their concerns, desires, and petty fights as our own, even if we cannot locate Salonika on a map or understand a word of the languages they spoke. This is also why the sketch by Key and Peele is universally hilarious: we can all see the folly in the narcissism of small differences regardless of time and place-even as we rationalize the violence that they cause as ethnic conflict.

Notes

1 . Comedy Central, Key and Peele, Season 4, Episode 5, October 22, 2014.
2 . Freud 1961, 72.
3 . Skopetea, 1992; Todorova 2009.
4 . Alyot 1947, 113.
5 . Basbakanlik Osmanli Arsivleri (Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives, Istanbul, Turkey, BOA), General Degirogis to the General Inspectorate of Rumeli, May 12, 1907, TFR.I.AS 54/5318.
6 . G lsoy 2000, 124-126.
7 . For examples see Yosmao lu 2014, 267-287.
8 . Grehan 2006.
9 . Neuburger 2013.
10 . Birdal 2010.
11 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4852, Degiorgis Pasha s letter, Salonika, July 24, 1907.
12 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, Degiorgis Pasha to H seyin Hilmi Pasha, June 1, 1907.
13 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, Memorandum of Reformed Gendarmerie Command, Salonika, May 8, 1907.
14 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 56/5516, Degiorgis Pasha to H seyin Hilmi Pasha, January 30, 1907; TFR.I.AS 49/4867, Degiorgis Pasha to H seyin Hilmi Pasha, July 2, 1907.
15 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, undated report.
16 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, Degiorgis Pasha to H seyin Hilmi Pasha, June 27, 1907.
17 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, Inspectorate to Degiorgis Pasha, June 29, 1907.
18 . BOA, TFR.I.AS 49/4867, undated report.
19 . Tamari 2011.
20 . Ze evi 2006; el-Rouayheb 2009.
21 . Students at the Public Charity School (D r- l-Aceze) risked termination of their enrollment if they engaged in immoral acts, BOA, MF.MKT 896/55 (February 2, 1906). Even being a tribal notable s son at the Imperial Tribal School did not protect one against such punishment, as was the case for a boy who let himself be kissed and another who visited his friend s cot in the middle of the night. ; BOA, MF.MKT 873/26 (July 29, 1905).

References

Basbakanlik Osmanli Arsivleri. Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives. BOA. Istanbul, Turkey.
Alyot, Halim. 1947. T rkiye de Zab ta. Ankara: i leri Bakanl Yay nlar .
Birdal, Murat. 2010. The Political Economy of Ottoman Public Debt. London: I. B. Tauris.
Comedy Central. Key and Peele . Season 4, Episode 5, October 22, 2014.
el-Rouayheb, Khaled. 2009. Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Freud, Sigmund. 1961. Civilization and Its Discontents . New York: W. W. Norton.
Grehan, James. 2006. Smoking and Early Modern Sociability: The Great Tobacco Debate in the Ottoman Middle East (Seventeenth to Eighteenth centuries). American Historical Review 111: 1352-1377.
G lsoy, Ufuk. 2000. Osmanl Gayrim slimlerinin Askerlik Ser veni. Istanbul: Simurg.
Neuburger, Mary. 2013. Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Tamari, Salim, ed. 2011. The Year of the Locust: A Soldier s Diary and the Erasure of Palestine s Ottoman Past. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Skopetea, Elli. 1992. Dys t s Anatol s, Athens: Gn s .
Todorova, Maria. 2009. Imagining the Balkans . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yosmao lu, pek. 2014. Blood Ties: Religion, Violence, and the Politics of Nationhood in Ottoman Macedonia, 1878-1908 . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Ze evi, Dror. 2006. Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500-1900. Berkeley: University of California Press.

PEK K. YOSMAO LU is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University. She is author of Blood Ties: Religion, Violence, and the Politics of Nationhood in Ottoman Macedonia.
4 It s What s Inside That Counts: Furnishing the Modern in the Apartments of Socialist Yugoslavia

Patrick Hyder Patterson
Present-day travelers to the places that once made up communist Europe often find the classic structures of socialist-era housing distinctly unappealing. Tall, forbidding apartment blocks executed in concrete and metal with a modernist hostility to adornment and (especially when new) not much softened with landscaping and greenery, these ugly constructions have become fixed in the imagination of the Western public as stereotypical symptoms of the insensitivities and inadequacies of Marxist-Leninist rule. During communist times, such buildings were the object of jokes and complaints among outsiders, and they seem no better liked by visitors today, a quarter century after the collapse of communism, when their dated style is aggravated by serious signs of age and weathering. As Kimberly Elman Zarecor observes in her history of Czechoslovakia s experimentation with new, mass-scale housing developments, Few building types are as vilified as the socialist housing block. 1

Building Blocks: Apartments as Progress
It is critical to recognize that when structures like these were new-and when socialism still appeared to be, for all practical purposes, the only way forward for Eastern Europe-they were genuinely welcomed at home as real accomplishments: comfortable, sensible, contemporary solutions to a lingering housing crisis. They offered many things that ordinary citizens in the socialist states wanted, and apartments in these buildings were highly sought after. 2 In the prosperous West, however, they got a decidedly different reception. Especially when judged against the styles favored by the more affluent classes of the United States, the most assertive exemplar of capitalism s achievements, they could look woefully inadequate. The new socialist developments bore little resemblance either to the colorful, buzzing, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes of what American urbanites have tended to think of as real cities or to the sheltered single-family retreats of the postwar American Dream in the suburbs. And so while the expert opinions of architects and urban planners have often been much more forgiving, at times even celebratory, the big apartment blocks have remained, for the most part, a much-derided emblem of socialism. 3

Figure 4.1. A socialist architecture apartment complex in Belgrade, Serbia, 2014. Photograph by Radmila Vankoska.
New block developments frequently appeared on the peripheries of expanding cities where open space was readily available. But a similar material and aesthetic divide can be found in the urban cores as well, where residential streets frequently mixed the flat concrete functionalism of socialist new construction with holdovers from earlier architectural periods. By 1989, many of these buildings were often in a state of decay and disrepair, due in part to the straitened finances of socialist governments and their citizens. Compounding the problem (if it is truly fair to call this a problem, since much of what is at issue here is a matter of differing habits, expectations, and tastes) was the comparative lifelessness of shopping streets in the communist world. To people accustomed to the flash and bang of the consumer economies of capitalism, something was missing. If the buildings themselves were thought to be ugly, the overall environment was, in a word, gray. Western commercial areas of the time were remarkable for the proliferation of bold advertising, colorful signage, and other attention-grabbing visual maneuvers meant to lure customers in a highly competitive environment. Their communist-zone counterparts, with some exceptions, seemed remarkable for the lack of these things.
The commercial amenities of socialist housing blocks, which the planners regularly outfitted with modest grocery stores and other small-scale services in adjacent ground-level structures meant to serve first and foremost the residents of the complex, did not do much to counter the outward impression of lifelessness. Yet outward impressions can be misleading: for those living in the apartments nearby, these stores were, in fact, very convenient and often quite popular. Where these outlets have managed to survive in a new capitalist business landscape that now depends more on the economies of scale and cost-cutting efficiencies that socialism decided to do without-in order to provide full employment and more traditional neighborhood-based services-they are still well liked today. But they have never been able to offer the lively experience of concentrated consumer abundance that announces vitality in the dense High Street/Main Street urban cores and bustling shopping centers and malls of the West.
In the territories that used to make up socialist Yugoslavia, as in communist southeastern Europe more generally, big new housing blocks rose as a standard element of the state s effort to deliver an acceptable solution to insufficient and substandard housing. Even today, their distinctive appearance remains a prominent feature of urban centers across the region. But here, too, appearances can be deceiving: in some of the ex-Yugoslav republics, the proportion of citizens now living in detached homes is, on a countrywide basis, actually at the high end of the European spectrum. 4 Curiously, the big blocks have somehow become stereotypical without being truly typical. This was by no means the way everyone lived but rather a phenomenon of the cities and towns that were undergoing rapid expansion in socialist times and, indeed, prevalent in only certain parts of those urban areas.
That said, apartment living was extraordinarily important in Yugoslavia, particularly for new arrivals to towns and cities and for younger residents, especially couples, who were living for the first time away from the homes in which they grew up. As they moved in to their new apartments, they encountered a considerable range of building designs-a diversity still visible on the ground today. In contrast to other socialist states, the Yugoslav building and planning industry did not stipulate a narrow range of uniform, standardized apartment-building models to be deployed nationwide using prefab concrete panels. 5 Coupled with the distinctive Yugoslav system of enterprise autonomy through worker self-management, the thoroughgoing decentralization of economic processes down to the level of the republics and municipalities led to far greater variety and inadvertently saved the country from the cookie-cutter uniformity of its socialist neighbors, so that Yugoslavia ended up in some ways defying the stereotype of drearily monotonous prefabricated neighborhoods. 6 Nevertheless, even some of the most carefully planned housing block developments ended up disappointing their new residents, as happened with the high-profile New Belgrade (Novi Beograd) project in the 1960s, where the promised amenities and services fell far short of what residents expected, a problem that, as Brigitte Le Normand notes, continued to plague New Belgrade throughout the socialist era. 7

Outward Appearances: Residential Exteriors and Common Disregard
In the Yugoslav developments, as elsewhere in the communist world, a tendency toward rather stark, barren, and uninviting exterior spaces prevailed. Under socialism (and in many cases, after socialism), the exterior environments of the big blocks and other apartment buildings were not just poorly outfitted, sparsely landscaped, and disconnected from a more sociable, intimate, human scale from the outset. They quite often ended up disregarded, little-used, and badly maintained later on as well. Why this neglect? Clearly, some of it was more or less built-in by design choices. In other cases, a failure to deliver on amenities and exterior improvements that actually had been planned made matters worse. 8 But there was another critical cause. Simply put, there was not much that Yugoslav apartment dwellers could do about the outward presentation or the broader exterior surroundings of the buildings in which they lived.
For the most part, ordinary citizens in socialist Yugoslavia seemed remarkably unconcerned with the way their apartment buildings looked from the outside. In the broader public discourse on housing issues, exterior appearances only rarely came up as a topic of reportage, advice, conversation, or debate. Instead, there seemed to be a generally shared agreement-in other words, a cultural principle-that individual residents would not be held accountable for the communal parts of their shared structures. Residing in a building that showed the public an unappealing face did not entail any serious charge against one s personal status. The architects functionalist modernism may or may not have accorded well with the personal style of the residents, but no one much cared. My own time living in Yugoslavia, during what turned out to be the latter years of socialism in 1988-89, confirms that conclusion: while there was enormous attention and energy devoted to furnishings, decor, and other interior improvement projects, no one was especially worried about the exterior surfaces, grounds, and common spaces of their apartment houses. How all these non-private spaces looked when they were brand new was, for better or worse, someone else s responsibility. And how they ended up looking after they were lived in and used was someone else s problem.
Here it is instructive to note one stark contrast to the culture that developed around larger multi-unit structures: those who were comfortable enough to have a vacation home ( vikendica ; vikendice [pl]; Slovenian vikend ) paid lots of attention to exterior appearances and landscaping. Some of this was no doubt due to the distinctive modes of use that such dwellings offered. Whether they were on the coast or in the mountains or countryside, these vikendice were typically meant to be enjoyed from the outside, too, so outdoor living spaces and external aesthetics mattered a great deal. Just as important, however, was the simple fact that as private proprietors, those who had such homes could do something about how their weekend getaways looked and felt from the outside. Here, homeowners themselves could shape exterior appearances in a personal and immediate fashion. Weekend homes occupied a big place in the public imagination-and sometimes even in the political commentary of Josip Broz Tito and other communist leaders, who wrestled with the question of whether vikendice were a sign that Yugoslav citizens, in their pursuit of a Yugoslav Dream of material abundance, had been seduced by consumerist values and developed an unhealthy attachment to comfort, luxury, status symbols, and inappropriate, un-socialist displays of wealth. 9 In the end, though, the interest in vacation homes continued more or less unchecked by political pressures. Spending power was the real limitation. When it was not possible to build or to buy, it was still possible to plan and to dream, and the popular press frequently presented construction plans and photo essays featuring vacation homes and building layouts, like the dozens of designs and finished projects set forth in full color in Lepe ku e (Beautiful Houses), a special 1980 issue of the popular current affairs magazine Duga (Rainbow), published in Belgrade and read around the country.
But in the multi-unit structures that made up an increasingly important share of the housing stock available to urban Yugoslavs, it was usually difficult if not impossible for any particular resident to exert a direct influence on external appearances, even if that person happened to have strong ideas about these matters. And so, in apartment complexes, attention turned inward. The exteriors and landscaping of these buildings remained socialized space: common property subject to joint regulation and governance and only enhanced through communal action and shared expense-which, understandably, many were reluctant to offer, since there seemed to be little to gain by investing in improvements and not much to lose by just letting things go. Indoors, away from the common spaces, the situation was different. Here, the gains arising from new improvement projects would be effectively privatized . What was achieved in interior, personal space might indeed accrue to one s own individual status. The overriding principle was this: it s what s inside that counts.

What s Inside: Displaying the Value of the Individual in Interior Spaces
So if the exteriors of apartment buildings were largely ignored, what were Yugoslav citizens doing in-and doing with-the indoor spaces that they could control? How did they learn about and talk about their options, and how can we learn today about the choices they faced? As they set about furnishing and decorating the interiors of their homes, ordinary Yugoslavs found a rich collection of designs, models, and ideas in the mass media, one of the most important sources for understanding home life under communism. As mirrors of everyday experience, these media materials are not without their problems-not least because of their tendency to represent prescriptive argumentation about how things should be , rather than descriptive documentation of how things actually were , and the related worry that they may record only officially sanctioned views. Yet even in a society like communist Poland, where the media were under substantially greater pressure from government authorities than in Yugoslavia, popular magazines reporting on housing issues ultimately managed to move beyond serving as mere mouthpieces for the party-state s interest in disciplining the home to offer instead some degree of opposition, becoming venues in which private homes were made public to assert individual histories over collective futures. 10

Figure 4.2a and b. The deteriorating facade of a typical apartment building showing neglected maintenance common to the socialist period, and the inside of one of its apartments, where detail and care given show how residents value the interior space, 2017. Photograph by Adis Novic.
Especially in subject areas that were not highly sensitive, the Yugoslav press under communism operated with a comparatively high degree of autonomy, surprisingly unburdened by strict, top-down party directives or sharp prepublication censorship. This freedom was even more evident for publications and coverage concerned with fairly safe topics like home improvement and interior design or consumer affairs more generally. In fields like these without immediate links to high politics, perceived excesses might occasionally trigger some ideological pushback and in-print debate, but there is little evidence to indicate that media presentations of residential living were geared in a slavish, mechanical way to any party line. The mass media s images and ideas of home life were consequently much more than a set of prescriptive behavioral guidelines. Moreover, business enterprises operating autonomously in the system of self-management no longer followed the dictates of centralized production planning but were instead, to a notable extent, trying to respond to consumer demand. The home furnishings and related products that were featured (and in many cases, heavily advertised) in the Yugoslav mass media should therefore be seen as far more reflective of what manufacturers and retailers thought customers did want than what party ideologists thought they should want .
Feature films and television programming, for example, often sought to capture the look and feel of residential culture across the country-in other words, how real Yugoslavs were living-with careful attention to the details of home and apartment interiors. Some of the country s most popular television series in the 1970s and 1980s, for example, depicted the efforts of more-or-less ordinary citizens to equip dwellings in the new blocks with all the trappings of the consumerist Good Life: impressive furniture, stylish decor, modern appliances, and fashionable accessories. 11 But the richest collection of evidence about the arrangement of home interiors comes from the many mass-circulation magazines that relied on engaging, up-to-date reporting and colorful graphics to connect consumers with the latest styles, trends, and products in the stores. The most important of these was Na dom (Our Home), a Ljubljana-based monthly that appeared in both Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian editions and was the most widely read home-improvement publication at the time. Features, news items, and promotional pieces on residential furnishings and decor, along with increasingly sophisticated advertising in these fields, also appeared in a wide range of news, current affairs, and lifestyle periodicals, including some targeted at particular market segments, such as the popular women s magazines Prakti na ena (Practical Woman), Svijet (The World), and Na a ena (Our Woman). Together these products of the mass media serve as an invaluable guide to what was happening, and what people hoped to make happen, within the walls of the country s private residential spaces.
One unavoidable conclusion that emerges from the media of the times is that the transformation of the Yugoslav home was, from the 1960s onward, big business and a major topic of public attention and conversation. The pages of Na dom , for example, were notable for their extensive advertisements, many of them in color, and for the way that even ostensibly informational coverage called attention to the products of Yugoslav enterprises. From the outset, advertising was in fact such a prominent feature of the periodical that one reader wrote to complain: I hope that the magazine will not with time turn into one big advertisement. Every time I look at it, there are always more of them. 12
As that comment suggests, the broader public conversation about the quality of residential life in Yugoslavia reflected a wide range of opinions and tastes. There were competing values and, with them, disagreements at times. Yugoslavia was a notoriously complicated society, and its citizens used and improved their homes in ways so rich and diverse that they defy any clear-cut, comprehensive characterization. Nevertheless, some useful generalizations will hold, and in the end, it is possible to identify a prevailing ethos of the contemporary home that took shape under Yugoslav socialism, one strongly influenced by the distinctive experience of urban apartment living.

Private Spaces, Shared Values: Socialist Yugoslavia s Ethos of the Contemporary Home
In speaking of a dominant ethos here, I mean to stress that in towns and cities (and in rural households that aspired to urban models), the expressive, communicative quality of residential life-in other words, what people were saying with their homes-was commonly marked by a set of recurring primary points of emphasis. These five key cultural complexes were centered on rationality, culture, modernity, individuality, and status. 13 Linked with each of these were several related subsidiary values, all of which were frequently expressed in the way residential interiors were outfitted:

Rationality: economy, efficiency, practicality, time savings, scientific planning
Culture: informed judgment, good taste, simplicity, moderation, modesty, harmony
Modernity: progress, continual improvement, freshness, fashion, Europeanness
Individuality: expressiveness, creativity, style, resourcefulness, problem-solving
Status: wealth, comfort, achievement, sophistication, distinction, worldliness
We must be careful, of course, not to approach the categories identified here in a rigid, reductionist way. The specifications are not exhaustive, and the classifications are not exclusive. In some cases, there may be considerable overlap among the groupings. Inventive resourcefulness, for example, could sometimes be as much a manifestation of rationality as of individuality, while designing one s apartment with a self-consciously European aesthetic might simultaneously communicate a sense of not just modernity but rationality, individuality, status, and culture as well. But with such caveats in mind, this summary can serve as a good and generally reliable guide, for it captures many of the principal values and purposes that Yugoslav apartment-dwellers had in mind as they set about furnishing and decorating their homes-in other words, what counted for them in the spaces they inhabited, and how they made what was inside count.
The strong emphasis on rationality in the ethos of the contemporary home that emerged in socialist Yugoslavia reflected to some extent the spread of the dominant values of the country s communist leadership, with its scientific, materialist, rationalist, and technocratic bent. When mass media sources on interior design sought to act as expert guides and arbiters of taste-which happened fairly often, even in the absence of strict party dictates-they offered up visions of praiseworthy indoor spaces that demonstrated the virtues of economy, efficiency, practicality, time savings, and scientific planning. But the culture of the rational contemporary home was not simply a top-down projection of elite tastemakers. In many ways, it also accorded well with the values and needs of ordinary apartment-dwellers, and it was their endorsement and their practical application of such values that made the principle of rationality something genuinely shared and expressed-that is, something truly cultural .
Perhaps most importantly, the emphasis on rational, thoughtful, efficient interiors proved well suited for the twofold economic reality that ordinary Yugoslavs encountered: remarkable advancements coupled with ongoing frustrations over the gap between what was desired and what was really attainable. There was no escaping the fact that no matter how much they desired to beautify their homes, ordinary citizens were constantly bumping up against the considerable restrictions imposed by their incomes. Consequently, home improvement culture was keyed to pragmatic solutions in the face of constraints. How to do a lot with a little was a recurring theme. Most critically, space itself was limited. Along these lines, a Belgrade reader of Prakti na ena shared her desire to work out a pleasant living environment in cramped quarters, a dilemma typical of many Yugoslav apartment residents: I live in a two-bedroom apartment of 63 square meters [678 square feet] with my husband, daughter, son-in-law, and two-year-old grandson. I would like the apartment to be comfortable, functional, and beautiful. Please help me with the arrangements. 14 The architect brought in by the magazine suggested a design that carefully maximized available space, using modern, multipurpose furniture, including a day-use sofa that converted into the young couple s bed at night, with a separate sleeping corner and play area for their child.
Space limitations were, in the end, a function of economic limitations. The culture of rational interior design acknowledged this and sought to make the most of the opportunities available in what was habitually referred to as our specific conditions, that is, in an economy that had seen encouraging growth but did not yet rise to the standards of the developed capitalist world. Life in the new block complexes posed problems that demanded some solution. When we get an apartment in a block, we are usually very happy, one writer for Na dom observed. But how quickly we find out that, as a rule, an apartment in a block is already too small for us and that another square meter or so would be very welcome. With practical furnishings, however, we can make an apartment that seems too small somewhat bigger. It is important that we use the available space as rationally as possible and that everything which is in the apartment is, above all, functional. 15 Thoughtful use thus appeared as a way to avoid disappointments and feel good about what was possible in the here and now.
An emphasis on the ideal cultured quality of living spaces was another way in which the values associated with socialist residential customs in Yugoslavia resembled those that developed in other communist countries. As with the stress on rationality, this particular element of the ethos of the contemporary home tended to surface more often in the work of writers, reporters, designers, architects, and other professional and expert tastemakers than in evidence that came from ordinary citizens. One architectural engineer instructed her readers, for instance, that a correct understanding of the culture of the home meant that living space and everything in it should be conceived and executed according to design principles that acknowledged the human being as the measure and as the goal, with each room and item apportioned in a recognition that the parts of the human body are the basis of all units of measurement. 16 Naturally, it could be difficult at times to convert abtractions like this and similar refined notions of taste into broadly held social codes. But other elements of the insistence that homes display culture did translate well enough. As with the emphasis on rationality, the stress on simplicity, moderation, and modesty meshed nicely with the demands of a tight budget and thus could readily be incorporated into a widely shared set of values and attitudes.
An enthusiasm for modernity, while clearly not universal, was widely shared by tastemakers and ordinary apartment dwellers alike. Of course, there was nothing necessarily socialist about modernity in general or modernism in particular, but socialist official culture embraced both. Given Yugoslav shoppers customary excitement for fashion and their keen interest in international consumer trends, furniture and decor that seemed suitably modern were often met with both public and elite approval. Along these lines, it is noteworthy that Scandinavian styles and designs-and Scandinavian ways of living more generally-attracted considerable attention and admiration. In the simple, forward-looking, and ultimately affordable design culture of the Nordic states, with their comfortable standard of living and their generous (some said socialist) provision of welfare benefits, there was a fashion that could unite cultural elites and ordinary citizens. One multipage photo spread in Na dom showcased the products of the Swedish furniture industry with the proclamation This Is How the Swedes Live-Simply-Modestly-Functionally. 17 That phrase was later picked up as ad copy for the major furniture manufacturer Slovenijales (Sloveniawood) and used to advance the message that the company s designs were bringing to Yugoslav customers the same high standards and commendable values that served as the foundations of Swedish home life. Similar themes marked another feature on Danish residential culture, which was likewise presented as reflecting refinement, progress, and modern, up-to-date elegance. 18 With its indisputably progressive and European quality, this was contemporary style, industrially produced, for everyone. Modern sold well.
While certain aspects of the ethos of the contemporary Yugoslav home promoted participation in widely held patterns-a general appreciation of rationality, a common recognition of what it meant to be cultured, a shared excitement over the possibilities of the modern-one element cut in the other direction and against any narrow conformity. If the exteriors of their apartment buildings were typically impersonal, and hopelessly so, what might happen inside was another matter entirely. Here there was ample opportunity to privatize and humanize the mass-scale structure, to transform a generic and standardized unit into a home . Perhaps surprisingly, even the mass media not only acknowledged but also actively encouraged the view that my home is my castle, a mindset that, it was said, Yugoslav readers tended to share with the English. According to Na dom , success in transforming even a small one- or two-bedroom flat into your own personal little castle by yourself, following your own wishes and ideas depended on the observance of certain essential rules: First of all: the apartment is yours. You live in it. Not your neighbor. Accordingly, you have to buy the furniture that you like. Not any specific kind of furniture. 19 The attitude reflected here-that interior space could be and should be a personal, individual, expressive domain, with ample opportunities to demonstrate a resident s own style, creativity, resourcefulness, and problem-solving talents-constituted a key part of the way Yugoslavs approached apartment living. In the midst of an official and public sphere that persistently reinforced socialist values of solidarity, collective action, brotherhood, and unity, the residential interior provided a critical setting in which a countervailing social agreement could be lived out: a place where it was not merely permissible but indeed desirable to be an individual, to be distinctive, to be different.
With the place created for individuality came another point of emphasis that likewise ran counter to socialist values. For it was clear that the ethos of the contemporary Yugoslav home recognized the significance of personal status. Apartment dwellers joined those who resided in other housing types in using their dwellings to signal their achievements. Having only interior spaces to work with, they did what they could. A comfortable life thus became something to be displayed and admired. In defiance of officialdom and those tastemakers who upheld socialist egalitarianism, this set of values emerged more or less from below. Not surprisingly, the Yugoslav mass media did not promote the quest for status to any great extent-or at least not explicitly. Quite to the contrary, status-seeking and the broader problem of social differentiation were often the subjects of polemics and lamentations. Nevertheless, it was undeniable that many ordinary Yugoslavs approached interior design and decor as a way to express their wealth, sophistication, distinction, and worldliness. The country s advertising industry understood this reality and frequently tried to play to it. And if public commentary and the media were hesitant to endorse this tendency openly, an indulgence of it still tended to creep in implicitly, and the polemics were softened with a recognition, often humorous, that if this was a sin, it was one that many Yugoslavs shared.
In socialist systems, the government s ultimate responsibility for providing satisfactory living conditions massively raised the stakes of housing policy. Residential life could be profoundly politicized in numerous ways, and this was all the more true for the big apartment blocks that were the grand models of modern socialist construction. This politicization of everyday life was widespread. It was certainly evident, for example, in the German Democratic Republic, where residential culture in general, and interior furnishings in particular, became the focus of what Paul Betts has called an ideological and aesthetic reform crusade in which individual apartments became crucial sites for the party-state s efforts at education and consciousness-building, targets of a reform spirit to reengineer both private spaces and private citizens. 20 But if more rigid communist states like East Germany ended up maintaining a heavy-handed regime of pressure, surveillance, and intense party-sponsored messaging on issues of residential culture-with the result that private life was never all that private -the remarkably decentralized and far looser Yugoslav system gave its citizens something rather different. 21 To be sure, ordinary Yugoslavs did end up embracing some of the values such as rationality, modernity, and cultured refinement on which those in power hoped to build a reliably socialist culture and reliably socialist people. But they often did so as an expression of their own individual, personal interests, and they managed to create within their apartments and homes a private life that was, in fact, genuinely private, one in which values such as individuality and even the need for status might also find shelter. In Yugoslavia, individuals ended up with a significant freedom to determine what was inside their homes-and to make what was inside count.

Notes

1 . Zarecor 2011, 1. Zarecor s analysis in certain ways rehabilitates these buildings, challenging traditional accounts and stereotypes of the big apartment blocks as offensive failures.
2 . The public response was not universally or perpetually welcoming. On the repudiation of the vaunted Socialist Modern styles as a devalued Socialist Generic by Hungarian apartment residents, see Feh rv ry 2012, 619.
3 . For a generally appreciative account of the aims and achievements of the country s modernist housing projects, see Kuli , Mrdulja , and Thaler 2012, 174-180.
4 . In recent years, Croatia and Slovenia have been the European Union states with the highest percentage of the population living in detached homes, at 73.0 and 66.6 percent, respectively. These figures, from 2012, far exceed the average for the EU-28 countries, at 34.1 percent (European Commission 2015). In 1981, individual ownership of residential units accounted for 69.4 percent of the overall Yugoslav tenure structure (Tsenkova 2009, 42).
5 . Kuli , Mrdulja , and Thaler 2012, 176.
6 . Ibid., 176, 174.
7 . Le Normand 2014, 137.
8 . Ibid., 128-138.
9 . Patterson 2011, 207.
10 . Crowley 2002, 189, 201-202.
11 . Patterson 2011, 275-282.
12 . Ku ar 1968, 4. All translations from foreign languages are those of the author.
13 . As regards culture, I have in mind the term kultura , which in addition to the obvious primary meaning may connote the state of being cultured or the quality of having culture. Soviet ideology tended to invoke culturedness ( kul turnost ), but the analogous noun ( kulturnost ) was only rarely used in Serbo-Croatian (and only slightly more so in Slovenian).
14 . Jovovi 1974, 64.
15 . Stanovanje v bloku, 7.
16 . oki 1980, 74.
17 . Tako stanujejo vedi, 5-8.
18 . Danska stanovanjska kultura, 12-14.
19 . Moj dom je moja tvrdnjava, 34.
20 . Betts 2008, 99-100. On related developments in the USSR, see Harris 2013, esp. chs. 6-7.
21 . On East Germany, see Betts 2008, 123.

References

Betts, Paul. 2008. Building Socialism at Home: The Case of East German Interiors. In Socialist Modern: East German Everyday Culture and Politics , edited by Katherine Pence and Paul Betts, 96-132. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Crowley, David. 2002. Warsaw Interiors: The Public Life of Private Spaces, 1949-65. In Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc , edited by David Crowley and Susan E. Reid, 181-206. Oxford: Berg.
Danska stanovanjska kultura. 1967. Na dom 1, no. 5 (September): 12-14.
oki , Svetislava. 1980. Prostor u kome ivimo- ovek kao mera i cilj. Prakti na ena 25, no. 623 (May 3): 74.
Feh rv ry, Krisztina. 2012. From Socialist Modern to Super-Natural Organicism: Cosmological Transformations through Home Decor. Cultural Anthropology 27, no. 4 (November): 615-640.
Harris, Steven E. 2013. Communism on Tomorrow Street: Mass Housing and Everyday Life after Stalin. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center.
European Commission. 2015. Housing Conditions. Eurostat: Statistics Explained. February 11. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Housing_conditions#Main_statistical_findings .
Jovovi , Gorica. 1974. Uredjujemo stan zajedno s vama: dve porodice u dvosobnom stanu. Prakti na ena 18, no. 463 (March 16): 64.
Kuli , Vladimir, Maroje Mrdulja , and Wolfgang Thaler. 2012. Modernism In-Between: The Mediatory Architectures of Socialist Yugoslavia. Berlin: Jovis.
Ku ar, Meta. 1968. Letter to the editor. Na dom 2, no. 4 (April): 4.
Le Normand, Brigitte. 2014. Designing Tito s Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, and Socialism . Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Moj dom je moja tvrdnjava. 1967. Na dom 1, no. 1 (May): 34.
Patterson, Patrick Hyder. 2011. Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Stanovanje v bloku. 1967. Na dom 1, no. 5 (September): 6-9.
Tako stanujejo vedi. 1967. Na dom 1, no. 2 (June): 5-8.
Tsenkova, Sasha. 2009. Housing Policy Reforms in Post Socialist Europe: Lost in Translation . Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.
Zarecor, Kimberly Elman. 2011. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960 . Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

PATRICK HYDER PATTERSON is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. He is author of Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia .
5 Consuming Lives: Inside the Balkan Kafene

Mary Neuburger
If you have not been to Etera-a village museum in the Central Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria-you should really go. Fresh air and a roaring stream greet visitors to this carefully curated, yet somehow natural-feeling, Balkan main street nestled in an alpine setting. Traditional buildings that have been gathered, taken apart, reassembled, and arranged evoke a quieter, simpler, Bulgarian past-namely, the nineteenth-century National Revival era. A favorite spot for Bulgarians to while away the day is Etera s kafene (caf ), stocked with Turkish coffee, Turkish delight, and a range of other regionally consumed sweets. It strikes no one as remarkable that this Bulgarian caf is filled with Turkish coffee and sweets. Indeed, the kafene evokes a traditional Bulgarian past that is remembered precisely for its Oriental style. It is this flavor of the Orient, in fact, that arouses a sense of Bulgarian (or Balkan) authenticity, as it differentiates that which is local, Bulgarian, or Balkan from what is European, Western, or more generically modern.
In the Balkans, as elsewhere, food, drink, and their modes and venues of consumption mark everyday lives in a profound way. There is arguably nothing so vital, so all-consuming and consumable, so embedded in everyday sensory experience and memory of the past than the flavors, textures, and smells of food and drink. These memories are further embedded in social life-family life, the home, seasonal change, holidays, and places of public gathering, like the kafene. Bulgarians, like most people living in the Balkans, embrace the kafene, past and present, as a quintessential part of everyday life. On the one hand, the five hundred years of Turco-Ottoman rule in the Balkans (from the fifteenth to nineteenth century) is generally rejected wholesale as a period of slavery and oppression or, at least, an aberration from a presumed European historical trajectory. Yet the legacies of Ottoman everyday life, like tastes and smells, the Turkish sweets and dense coffee of the kafene, and other kinds and modes of food and drink, are generally embraced, even romanticized, as part of an authentic Bulgarian past.
The kafene, in all its old and new incarnations, remains a quintessential part of Bulgarian life. Bulgarians love coffee. But not in the way Americans do. The American way of consuming coffee-grabbing it to go through drive-through windows, drinking it while walking, or simply having it for the caffeine-induced buzz-is still rare, if not utterly foreign, to Bulgarian consumers. For coffee consumption in the Balkans, traditionally as well as today, is less about the substance of the cup and more about the substance of life. Admittedly, this is not just a Balkan phenomenon but more a European one. Of course, consumers in Sofia do often grab a small coffee from a street kiosk and sip it standing at the counter, but this is not by preference. 1 The norm for coffee drinking is that it punctuates the day, offering repose and social interaction. It takes time . This is not to say that kafene culture, or Bulgarian/Balkan culture is totally static or stuck in time. On the contrary, the kafene provides a window into historical transformations that reshaped the Bulgarian everyday. But there is a palpable connection between the kafene culture of today and meanings evoked by the Etera kafene, symbolic of the kafene of the past. The smells and sensations of the Etera kafene evoke a return to a Balkan history in which the kafene provided an oasis from the worries of the world and a venue in which everyday life unfolded.
Caf culture is iconic, even elemental, in a number of southern and central European cultures-for example, French, Italian, Viennese. But for some reason, the Balkan kafene is less well known outside the region, even though it is an as deeply embedded part of social life in the Balkans as it is in these better-known caf cultures. 2 Although the caf is often romanticized in the West as quintessentially European, it is not of European but rather Near Eastern origins. More precisely, the caf was born of the habits and products of the long-lived and sprawling Ottoman Empire, where the coffee beans native to Ethiopia were profitably roasted, ground, and brewed in gathering places called kahve hane (Turkish for coffeehouse) since the sixteenth century.
Since the fourteenth century, the Balkans were under Ottoman rule. Thus, when the kahve hane (which in Bulgarian became kafene ) became commonplace in the empire, so too did it spread, beginning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, throughout the Balkans. Yet significantly, the kafene was primarily Muslim until the mid-nineteenth century, often adjacent to the mosque and central to both Muslim social life and social infrastructure of city neighborhoods, villages, and towns. Non-Muslims, including local Christians and Jews, were more likely to gather at the kr chma (tavern) and/or bakal (store), where alcohol and food, but not coffee, were traditionally consumed. Still, city neighborhoods and village caf s, taverns, and stores served a number of functions, including local administration, dry goods supply, post office, and dentist. By the nineteenth century, Balkan Christian men-and it was exclusively men in these spaces in that period-began to establish their own kafenes as meeting places across the empire, in an archipelago of cities from the imperial capital of Istanbul to Plovdiv, Varna, Sofia, and Ruse and in smaller revival towns in the Balkan mountains such as Gabrovo or Karlovo. Local bakals and kr chmas across the region began to serve coffee by day and alcohol by night, while patrons smoked tobacco night and day. The big three globally consumed drugs of the twentieth century-alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine-had established themselves in every Bulgarian village by the later nineteenth century, with tobacco and alcohol being produced locally. There was a large degree of interaction, though little integration, between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Balkans. They entered each other s spaces and frequently conducted business or settled local administrative matters in shared caf s and market places. They had daily exposure to the gathering places and consuming habits of other ethnic groups. 3
This phenomenon was depicted, for example, in Ivan Vazov s Pod Igoto ( Under the Yoke ), read in school by virtually every Bulgarian. In Pod Igoto , set in late Ottoman Bulgaria, Ganko s kafene provides the stage on which the novel unfolds: Ganko s kafene as usual, filled with noise and smoke. It was the meeting place of old and young alike, where public matters were discussed, and the Eastern Question too, as well as all the domestic and foreign policy of Europe. A miniature parliament one might say. 4 While Ganko s clientele is primarily Bulgarian, the reader is also invited to experience the patchwork of Balkan culture inside of a kafene in a neighboring Turkish village. On the run from the Ottoman authorities, the young revolutionary hero Ivan Kralich stops for the night at a rustic inn in this village. Dressed incognito as a common Turk, Kralich enters through the inn s kafene and is taken aback to see that it was crowded with agas (Ottoman officers):

To leave immediately was awkward. He decided to sit down, and made his salaam [hello], which they politely returned. As he had lived long among the Turks he knew their customs and their language very well. They were squatting on straw-mats, their shoes off, pipes in hand. A dense fog of smoke filled the room.
A coffee! he said sternly to the host.
And he started filling his pipe, bending low over it to hide his features as much as possible. 5
Kralich does his best to remain invisible, furiously sipping his third cup of coffee, while at every other moment he blew out a cloud of smoke. 6 Kralich s familiarity with the habits and language of the Turks, his ability to pass for Turkish, is striking. But so too is the author s own ability to portray the Balkan kafene as somehow both public and intimate, as a place of ethnic separation and yet grounds for a shared cultural intimacy. Indeed, the place of the kafene in the Bulgarian past is largely a product of its prominence in Bulgarian literature, as well as memoir. 7 As depicted by Vazov, the kafene is embraced as a part of the fabric of Bulgarian life under the Ottomans, even as the Ottoman system is critiqued and rejected.
As in literature, memoirs from the late Ottoman period are nostalgic about a time in which the kafene was an integral part of Balkan everyday life. In chronicles of nineteenth century Ottoman cities, the rich cultural life of these ethnically mixed cities is most vividly depicted though kafene interaction. The urban Muslim coffeehouse, which spilled onto streets of cities like Istanbul, was part and parcel of the color of the vibrant, cosmopolitan Ottoman tapestry of which Bulgarians were a strand. As lovingly described in the memoir by Khristo Br zitsov , Once in Istanbul , which describes the late nineteenth-century city: In front of Akhmed Topal s kafene, hidden from a red ribbon of baking sun, sat the Turks in their holiday clothes. . . . They sipped steaming coffee out of large fildzhans [a type of cup], filling the entire pot with coffee, and the narghiles [hookahs] were well-supplied. 8 Non-Muslim Bulgarians experienced the Muslim caf not just from the street view. During the Muslim festival of Ramadam Bairam, for example, people of all religions and ages gathered in Muslim coffeehouses to watch playful shadow puppetry. 9 By the 1840s, Armenians, Greeks, and Slavs, and later Jews, began to appear on guild registries as kafene owners, and non-Muslim coffeehouses proliferated in the course of the century. Urban coffeehouses in particular tended to cater to specialized, self-selecting clientele based on ethnicity, class, political affiliation, and village of origin (for recent migrants). 10 And the traditional kafene generally had a multitude of functions-barbershop, dentist office, inn, restaurant, bar, and opium den, as well as center of male itinerant merchant and artisan culture. 11

Figure 5.1. A man pouring himself coffee in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014. Photograph by Roska Vrgova.
Significantly, the memoir genre tended to highlight the colorful, traditional Balkan kafene just as it was slowly and unevenly transforming it into a European caf . The gradual dissolution of the Ottoman Empire brought in its wake the creation of nation-states-including Serbian, Greek, Romanian, and Bulgarian-and mass migration, exile, and expulsion of peoples over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This brought dramatic change to the ethnic landscape of the newly formed and expanding Balkan states, including Bulgaria-autonomous as of 1878 and independent in 1908. This unmixing of Balkan peoples was accompanied by a Europeanization of cityscapes, trade orientations, and material culture (clothing, furniture, etc.), in and outside the kafene. Such changes provoked a sense of loss among many Bulgarians, who looked wistfully to the places where aspects of Bulgarian-Ottoman culture still survived. 12 In the immediate post-1878 period, the Bulgaria principality concentrated Europeanization efforts on Sofia, the new capital. In contrast, in Plovdiv-integrated into autonomous Bulgaria only in 1885- Europeanization was slower, thwarted perhaps by efforts to embrace and maintain the Ottoman everyday past. 13

Figure 5.2. Putnik caf bar, normally visited by men, in Novi Pazar, Serbia, 2011. Photograph by Roska Vrgova.
The memoirs of Nikola Alvadzhiev describe the richly textured Balkan cityscape of early post-Ottoman Plovdiv. With a delicious intimacy, Alvadzhiev details the quarters of Plovdiv, the aromas and kefove (pleasures) of their caf s, but also restaurants and taverns, inhabited by colorful characters. The city s complex web of ethnic and social relations unfolds as groups gather separately or intermingle within the multitude of neighborhood kafenes. 14 Alvadzhiev s describes, for example, the numerous kafenes on Dzhumaia Street, where in the summer all the tables were full on the little square and even on the street. He continues: For hours the Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, drank coffee, smoked, and chatted about everything imaginable. 15 In short, the old-style kafene persists, even as new kinds of kafenes appear. As Alvadzhiev describes, many of the kafenes of Plovdiv s were filled with newly educated and politically engaged youth, who oiled-back their long hair, dressed in black and sported beards in imitation of the Russian nihilists. They read Gorky, Tolstoy, and Bakunin as they drank coffee and smoked into the night. 16 Certain kafenes became known for allegiance to a particular political party and many even functioned as party headquarters. To be sure, Bulgarian socialism fermented in the caf environment, at home and abroad.
In Sofia, Ottoman-style kafenes were even more quickly replaced with myriad political clubs, luxurious European caf s, as well as beer halls, cabarets, restaurants, and other urban establishments. The fabric of Sofia s urban life was rewoven after 1878 into a self-consciously European city, home to a fashionable and famous caf set of literati and notable personages. By the interwar period, Sofia s writers had come into their own, and they met, held court, and even wrote their masterworks in Sofia s dense web of old- and new-style kafenes-from gleaming to dinghy, rich to poor, right wing to socialist. Even when the Bulgarian economy was at a low point, Bulgarian journalist Khristo Br zitsov noted that the caf s of Sofia were full, though people were lingering more than buying. 17 Br zitsov s other memoir, Niakoga in Sofia (Once in Sofia), is less an account of his own life than a thick ethnography of Sofia s kafene life, which he maps with precision, from the cramped and stuffy to the airy and gleaming, frequented according to literary taste and political or social leanings. It was at such establishments that men met, wrote, networked, and retired.
Women, however, were rarely a part of this kafene life. Generally, memoirs written by women on the prewar period are devoid of references to the kafene or depict an intimacy of the kafene world from the outside. Raina Kostentseva s memoir describing the early twentieth century, for example, features observations of a male-dominated kafene as it spilled onto the streets of Sofia in mild weather. 18 Certain women would have been present in some of these establishment, either presumably loose or fallen women or, in a few cases, newly prominent intellectual women who became regulars in respectable kafenes, like the famous Tsar Osvoboditel. 19 Many women however, participated in food- and drink-centered kinds of social networking outside the caf setting, in homes, salons, public baths, and the church. 20 They also frequented other new kinds of consumption venues (restaurants, beer halls, taverns), where respectable women were welcome, as long as they were accompanied by male family members. 21
World War II and the new communist system in postwar Bulgaria brought dramatic change to kafene life. At least initially, the communist regime decried kafene life (and, even more so, tavern life) as idle and bourgeois, a vestige of the capitalist past. But kafenes did not disappear entirely. Indeed, in the period after Stalin s death-when so-called de-Stalinization swept through Eastern Europe-there was an explosive growth in state-built and run kafenes and other kinds of venues for public consumption like restaurants, sladkarnitsas (sweet shops), street kiosks, and even taverns and bars. The clientele was vastly more diverse, including men, women, and youth.
In line with global trends in public consumption of food and drink (and tobacco), the old-style Bulgarian kafene was eclipsed by a plethora of options from the modern Sofia kafene to the newly tourist Black Sea coast-even more ensconced in leisure than its urban counterpart. Such abundance and its varied clientele, was quite new to postwar Bulgarians. It was part and parcel of communist attempts to provide the Good Life to its citizens and restore its sagging legitimacy. Any such efforts, of course, would pale in relation to the explosive growth of gleaming hip caf s, bars, and restaurants of postcommunist Bulgaria.
Today upscale kafenes line the streets of Sofia and other Bulgarian cites, which are also still dotted with little kiosks with one or two worn out tables. But through all this change, the kafene ritual-the meeting of friends and colleagues for a hot, bitter coffee, some sweets, or a smoke-with its more lavish sensibility of time is still in place. Perhaps this is not peculiarly Bulgarian but rather, more broadly, Balkan. But it is worth noting that the kafene in Etera, nestled in a reconstructed Bulgarian village from the late Ottoman past, still draws visitors to the luscious tastes and smells of its Turkish coffee and sweets. In a certain sense, it is time itself that people of the Balkans are buying and savoring at the kafene. This is what the past has to offer the present.

Notes

1 . For more general work on coffeehouses, see, for example, Reato 1991 and Ellis 2004.
2 . Recent Bulgarian scholarship has begun to offer in-depth discussion of the historical phenomenon of the kafene and the Bulgarian everyday. See, for example, Kraev 2005; Gavrilova 1999.
3 . Alvadzhiev 1971, 182.
4 . Vazov 1971, 110. It is unclear whether Vazov was familiar with Balzac s famous novel The Peasants , in which he called the caf the parliament of the people, but it is entirely likely that we would have been exposed to the work of the French writer.
5 . Ibid., 164.
6 . Ibid.
7 . In another Vazov novella, Chichovtsi: Galeriia ot tipove i nravi B lgarski v Tursko vreme (Uncles: A Gallery of Bulgarian Types and Morals in Turkish Times), satire mixes with the burlesque in cutting representations of Bulgarian archetypal social figures, in and around the kafene.
8 . Br zitsov 1966, 40.
9 . Kirli 2001, 156. Kirli explains that the well-known Karag z (meaning black-eye in Turkish) shadow puppet phenomenon took place in Muslims caf s, but drew a mix of ethnicities and religions, even women and children.
10 . Iankovo and Semov 2004 , 388.
11 . Kirli 2011, 11.
12 . Bakurdzhieva 2001, 141.
13 . Kozhukharov 1967, 191-192.
14 . Alvadzhiev 1971, 93.
15 . Ibid., 49.
16 . Ibid., 226.
17 . Br zitsov 1970, 67-68.
18 . Kostentseva 2008, 124-125, 231.
19 . Br zitsov 1970, 69; Konstatinov 1976, 144.
20 . Leslie 1933, 47, 60.
21 . Who was a respectable versus fallen women at the time was in the eye of the beholder. But in general, respectable women were married and always accompanied by husbands or fathers in public consumption venues. Fallen women may have been actual prostitutes, or simply women who did not marry at the socially prescribed age and frequented public establishments unaccompanied. See Neuburger 2011.

References

Alvadzhiev, Nikola. 1971. Plovdivska khronika . Plovdiv: Izdatelstvo na Khristo G. Danov, Bakurdzhieva, Teodora. 2001. Vlianie na Evrope skite modeli v organiziraneto na svobodnoto vreme na Rusensti v kra na XVIII-70te godini na XIX vek, Evrope stika, Evrope ski identichnosti: Tom 3, Seria 1. 141.
Br zitsov, Khristo. 1966. Niakoga v Tsarigrad . Varna: D rzhavno izdatelstvo.
Br zitsov, Khristo. 1970. Niakoga v Sofiia: Spomeni 1913-1944 . Sofia: B lgarski pisatel.
Ellis, Markman. 2004. The Coffee-House: A Cultural History . London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.
Gavrilova, Raina. 1999. Sv. Kliment Okhridski. Kolelota na zhivota: Vsekidnevieto na B lgarskiia v zrozhdenski grad . Sofia: Universitetsko izdatelstvo.
Iankovo, Ivanka and Mincho Semov, 2004. Sveti Kliment Okhridski. B lgarskite gradove prez v zrazhdaneto: Istorichesko, sotsiologichesko i politichescko izsledvane, chast p rva . Sofia: Universitetsko izdatelstvo.
Kirli, Cengiz. 2001. The Struggle over Space: Coffeehouses of Ottoman Istanbul, 1780-1845, PhD diss., State University of New York, Binghamton.
Kostentseva, Raina. 2008. Riva. Moiat roden grad Sofiia v kraia na XIX-nachalo na XX vek i sled tova . Sofia.
Konstantinov, Konstatin, 1976. Georgi Bakalov. P tuvane k m v rkhovete: Portreti, spomeni, eseta . Varna: Knigodatelstvo.
Kozhukharov, Georgi. 1967. B lgarskata k shta prez pet stoletie: Kraia na XIV vek-kraia na XIX vek . Sofia: B lgarskata akademiia na naukite.
Kraev, Georg ed. 2005. Kafeneto kato diskurs . Sofia: Nov B lgarski universitet.
Leslie, Henrietta. 1933. Where East Is West : Life in Bulgaria . Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Neuburger, Mary. 2011. The Kr chma, the Kafene , and the Orient Express: Tobacco, Alcohol, and the Gender of Sacred and Secular Restraint in Bulgaria, 1856-1939, Aspasia: International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women s and Gender History 5(1): 70-91.
Reato, Danilo. 1991. The Coffee-House: Venetian Coffee-Houses from 18th to 20th Century . Venice: Arsenale.
Vazov, Ivan. 1971. Under the Yoke . New York: Twayne Publishers.

MARY NEUBURGER is Professor of History, Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), and Chair of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas of Austin. She is author of The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria . She is editor with Paulina Bren of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe.
6 Burek, Da! Sociality, Context, and Idiom in Macedonia and Beyond

Keith Brown
In Mil o Man evski s award-winning film from 1994, Before the Rain , the graffito BUREK, DA! (Burek, yes!) appears on screen for approximately three seconds. 1 It occurs around one minute into the sequence charting the passage of the main character, Aleks, through the Macedonian capital city, Skopje, on his way from London to his native village. The camera records Aleks s point of view: The phrase is clearly legible on a wall to the right of a young couple in argument, the man gesticulating angrily, the stylishly dressed woman taking a step back. Man evski cuts away immediately to a reaction shot of Aleks smiling.
Victor Friedman, one of the more astute and acute readers on the film (as well as Macedonian culture), explained the graffito to outsiders in the following way:

Burek (from Turkish b rek) is an oven-baked savoury pastry made from very thin sheets of oiled, unleavened dough layered with ground meat, cheese, or spinach. It is popular throughout the Balkans and traditional burek-shops fulfill the function of Western fast-food restaurants. In a country where graffiti are often used in political functions (both government-sponsored and antigovernment), such a graffito has multiple resonances. A slogan praising a local food item rather than a political leader, party or movement is a parodic rejection of political slogans in general. At the same time, however, the choice of burek for such praise is a kind of proud assertion of Balkan identity and, given the function of burek shops in Macedonia and the opening of a McDonald s a few blocks from the location of the graffito, it can also be taken as [rejecting] the cultural hegemonic homogenization of global (read: western) capitalism. Thus the slogan can be read as both locally apolitical and globally political. 2
Friedman thus points out several of the layers of meaning on display here-provided by the filmmaker Man evski and consumed, we may imagine (on the basis of his smile), by Aleks, as well as by knowing viewers. 3 Friedman here, though, runs the risk that anthropologists and other cultural analysts always face-the criticism of overanalysis, often made by comparison to Freud s cigar. Isn t a savory pastry, after all, sometimes just a savory pastry? Perhaps; however, recent years have seen several works in Slovenia on the topic. Peter Stankovi argued there was much to be learned in the ethnographic and sociological tradition by reflection on this everyday food. 4 In 2010, Stankovi supervised a thesis by Bojana Rudovi vanut entitled The Meanings of Burek in Slovenia that attracted some critical press coverage. 5 Elsewhere, Jernej Mleku completed a doctoral thesis on burek at the University of Nova Gorica. 6 These Slovenian transformations of Balkan pastry into theoretical capital inspire this short reflection on why and how burek still matters, in more ways than ever, twenty years after Man evski s film.

Burek: Slicing Intra-Yugoslav Politics
One aspect of the slogan that Friedman mentions in a footnote is its explicit intertextuality. Rather than existing in isolation-or in relation only to hegemonic Western capitalism-the single-language phrase Burek, Da! (Burek, yes!) and Stankovic s code-switching choice of title for his 2005 column, Burek, Ja, bitte! (Burek, yes please!), are both in fact ripostes to another earlier graffito, reportedly seen on the street in Ljubljana in the late 1980s. The phrase, mixing Serbo-Croatian or Macedonian with German, was Burek? Nein, danke. 7
In his witty and irreverent 2007 book chapter with that title, Jernej Mleku makes the case that in late 1980s Slovenia, the burek-or, in his terms, the meta-burek-became a symbol of the underdeveloped Balkans, freighted with the metageographical baggage of South or East and juxtaposed with an emerging Slovenian self-image as northern/western, Europe-facing, and modern. He sketches a brief history of burek s physical presence in Slovenia-introduced, he argues, by Albanian vendors for the underclass market of migrant laborers and soldiers on national service from elsewhere in Yugoslavia. He then discusses burek s semiotic career within a Slovene discourse that increasingly took on nationalist, exclusionary qualities. Burek, available in Slovenia from the 1960s onward, was part of a larger, polluting presence of Yugoslav fellow-nationals in Ljublana and other Slovenian cities; in altering the urban foodscape, burek was tangible evidence of trends that, in the words of one Slovenian author, were transforming Ljublana into Bajazit s and Murat s amusement park. 8 In this regard, Burek? Nein, danke sits alongside a playful, yet edgy, discourse of humor that reflected the socioeconomic distinctions between more and less developed republics and regions of Yugoslavia. 9 Federal efforts to close the gap, including the Fund for the Accelerated Development of the Undeveloped Republics and Kosovo (FADURK) program of centrally funded subsidies for Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo, caused increasing resentment in Slovenia and Croatia, where leaders and emergent publics considered their money was being wasted on handouts. 10
Mleku provides his own archaeology of the graffito, pointing to the West German antinuclear slogan Atom, nein danke as providing the frame. He also notes that burek captured widespread attention during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, where the Slovenian skier Jure Franko won Yugoslavia s first winter Olympic medal, prompting the slogan Volimo Jureka, vi e od bureka ( We love Jurek more than burek ). 11 As reported by these two commentators, that phrase was disemic. Chanted by Sarajevans, or by enthusiasts for Yugoslav solidarity, it appears it is a sign of inclusive affection for the skier ( We love you alongside, and even more than, our shared favorite dish ). Adopted by Slovenian nationalists, it takes on a negative, adversarial cast ( We prefer our world-recognized skier to your cheap, greasy, Balkan fast food ).

Figure 6.1. A woman serving burek in Sarajevo, 2017. Photograph by Roska Vrgova.
Although it is tempting to accept this clear distinction, one core element of everyday sociality in the Balkans is people s widespread facility with wordplay that preserves ambiguity rather than collapsing it straightforwardly. To be sure, jokes often have an edge, but the same jokes, or dueling variations, can be told across social and political frontiers and, in fact, as Keith Basso argued in a very different context, serve to stitch together social fabric at risk of tearing. 12 The very different careers of Slovenia and its former fellow republics since 1991 have served to obscure the intimate nature of the various social relations that bound them together. The divergent histories of the new sovereign states since 1991 have also hidden the degree to which the fault lines of East/West, North/South, and autonomism/interdependence were replicated at multiple scales within Yugoslavia.
In her compelling and intricate discussion of the Greek-Albanian borderland, Sarah Green enlists the language of fractals to represent this aspect of the Balkans-in her own reiterated phrasing, bumps upon bumps upon bumps. 13 The point, Green stresses, is to be sensitive to the quality of the relation generated by the repeated clashes of scalar domains. 14 In that spirit, it is significant that in Slovenia s capital, Ljubljana, in the 1970s and 1980s, burek s market quickly spread beyond the southern conscripts and migrant workers and-as in Macedonia-quickly included young high school and college urbanites. Of particular importance, was burek s late-night availability, which combined with its reputed alcohol-absorbing properties to make it a popular way to round off a night of drinking before returning to one s home (usually shared with one s parents). Younger Slovenes, then, perhaps experienced burek as adding variety rather than threatening essence. In this same period, Ljubljana also served as a hub for human rights activism within Yugoslavia, in which the situation of Kosovo s Albanians was of particular concern and a potential source of solidarity against Serbian hegemonic aspirations. The opinion expressed in the graffito Burek? Nein, danke -if we insist on reading it as anti-Muslim or anti-Albanian-was perhaps not as widely shared as it has come to appear in hindsight.
Acknowledging these layers of meaning in Yugoslav-era Slovenian discourses of burek serves as a useful corrective to the illusion that BUREK, DA! conveys a single, stable message to those who can read it. This is especially important in light of Macedonia s own pathway out of the wreckage of Yugoslavia and the enduring importance of relations between Macedonians (who constitute a majority of the republic s population) and Albanians (who in the last official census, conducted in 2002, represented 25 percent of the country s population). 15 Having detailed part of the prehistory of the limiting phrase Burek? Nein, danke! in the Yugoslav space, I now turn to consider the more recent resonances of its affirmative double, Burek, da!, in the Republic of Macedonia.

Burek, Ajvar, and the Ethnicization of Politics
Although ethnic tensions between Macedonians and Albanians capture international attention, burek has not been widely pressed into service as a marker of difference. One colleague did report, in 2008, seeing the graffito Burek da, Ajvar ne in Skopje-which is also the title of a Macedonian song recorded in 2001 and available on YouTube. 16 Ajvar is a winter preserve made from roasted red peppers and eggplant; people generally agree that commercially made ajvar is a poor substitute for the homemade ( doma en ) version. At least until the late 1990s, at the time of the pepper harvest, ajvar production was a communal event in residential neighborhoods across Skopje, as people set up small stoves outside to make the preserves and, often, drink and share rakija -homemade brandy-in the process. Regulations, presumably introduced in the interests of health and safety, outlawed this practice in Skopje, and families now contract with friends or neighbors elsewhere in the country to get their ajvar.
When she brought up the graffito, the colleague suggested there was in fact an ethnic connotation, as burek is not from here, while ajvar is. The imputed meaning of the phrase, then, was an ironic commentary on the multiple denials of Macedonian autonomy and identity and the growing power and presence of Albanian interests. The year of the song s release, 2001, was also, of course, the year when an Albanian armed insurgency in western Macedonia changed the country s political landscape. 17

Burek, Cigarettes, and Manhood
Yet this is not the limit of the idiomatic career of burek in modern Macedonia. Rather, the pastry continues to feature in turns of phrase that mark out the contours of what Michael Herzfeld has termed cultural intimacy. 18 As a nonnative speaker and student of Macedonian for the past twenty years, I still learn new idioms on every visit. Most recently, reading Toa Sum Jas , 19 a memoir by a key political figure in Macedonia s post-Yugoslav transition, Ljup o Georgievski, I was struck by a phrase he referenced while describing some of the preliminary meetings in 1990 that led to the formation of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE). Georgievski was the first president of the party, serving until May 2003, when he was succeeded as premier by Nikola Gruevski. More recently, Georgievski has emerged as a critic of VMRO-DPMNE s national leadership, which in 2012 prompted a series of revisionist accounts of the party s formation.
Toa Sum Jas is a response to these revisionist accounts, mostly produced by figures who belittle Georgievski s role and claim a leading role for themselves-including Branislav Sinadinovski, Vlado Golubovski, Vlado Tarantalovski, and Todor Nanev. 20 Among the phrases used to signal Georgievski s junior status is that at the critical, foundational meetings he was sent out for burek and cigarettes. The phrase encodes both masculinist modalities of doing serious and dangerous business and the rigidities of hierarchy built into those practices. VMRO-DPMNE came into being, this asserts, in smoke-filled rooms late at night, beyond the gaze of the existing communist authorities and without access to the lavish hospitality that was habitual in Yugoslavia, as in other socialist and communist economies of favors. 21 Instead, these protracted senior male conversations and negotiations were fueled by their younger aides or hangers-on acting as errand boys. Through what might seem like an innocuous reference to a practical activity, Georgievski s enemies did not just deny his leadership, but questioned his manhood.
This aspect of burek s meaning, signaling gender and power inequalities, is also manifest in another idiom I first learned when I started asking people for their burek stories. When someone sees or is talking about a couple who are mismatched in height, then reportedly they might say, She is tall enough to eat burek off his head. In this case, the image conjured is more self-evidently absurd (and funny). Again, though, it invokes-and thereby authorizes as normative-a particular cultural context of gender division. In Macedonia (unlike Slovenia, where burek is often served in paper and eaten in the hand, as one might eat takeout pizza), people generally consume burek from a plate, either with a knife and a fork or with two forks. Burek shops either have regular tables and chairs or higher counters, where customers eat either seated on a stool or standing.

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